Exclusive Q&A With : Dr Kalyan C Kankanala, an IP Attorney in Bengaluru
Updated on: 24 Jun 2016
What happens when the law clashes with medicine? Dr Kalyan C Kankanala, an IP Attorney in Bengaluru, imagines this situation well in his debut novel The Oath released recently. The story is of a doctor who is penalised for treating Naxalites – like Binayak Sen did. He tells City Express about his research, the challenges he faced and how his experience in law helped him.
Where did the idea come from?
My father is a doctor, and I have had the opportunity of assisting him and observing his work from close quarters. Like many doctors of his generation, he placed medical treatment and patients ahead of everything else, even family.
Sometimes, his dedication to a patient's cause landed him in a dilemma. In situations where his medical duty clashed with legal duty, he always gave priority to medical ethics and patient care. Like him, many doctors believe in the supremacy of the Hippocrates Oath, and devote themselves to everything it stands for. Some of them get into serious trouble if their adherence to the oath clashes with their legal duty to the state. For example, Dr Binayak Sen was arrested for allegedly treating Naxalites, and had to go all the way to the Supreme Court to get bail.
I did my best to bring out this contradiction and its repercussions in the form of an interesting story.
What did you have in mind when you started writing The Oath?