Sharmeen Obaid apologizes for poor choice of words but sticks to her stance on harassment

Over the past weekend, the whole nation has been debating on Sharmeen Obaid’s Tweet which had a doctor fired from a hospital.

It all began when she aggressively tweeted about an Agha Khan University Hospital Doctor who sent a friend request to her sister who was his patient.

Sharmeen Obaid called this harassment and it started a war between people on the internet. A lot of people criticized Sharmeen for calling something as simple as sending a friend request a case of ‘Harassment’.

Sharmeen apologizes for poor choice of words

Sharmeen has finally broken her silence over the whole controversy and has issued the following note, agreeing that her status may have been filled with a poor choice of words, but her stance on the doctor-patient privilege remains the same. Here’s her original message that she posted on Twitter today.

My recent tweets about a doctor’s inappropriate behavior has drawn much comment and controversy. The conversation has unfortunately steered far from the safety of women, unchecked unethical practices & harassment. Some of the words I used in anger have disappointed people & I agree that they were poorly chosen in a time of heated emotion. My words and heated sentiment seem to have drawn away from the real issue at hand.

To clarify at the outset, my tweet about the “wrong women in the wrong family” was not meant to suggest a sense of privilege or power, what I meant to say was that the women in my family are strong and stand up for themselves and always have. Something I have always maintained.

As a public figure I receive unsolicited friendship requests from strangers all the time, and never once have I brought that up, however, this request to my sister was under different circumstances.

Patients are vulnerable, especially women who trust a doctor to see them simply as a patient, in whatever medical state that may be. When that trust is broken it is a violation.

In this case, a doctor on call that night in an emergency ward and a stranger to us, with whom no conversation other than medical was had, was trusted with medical access to a very private examination in the ward.

Following this examination, he chose to seek out the patient on social media leaving comments on photographs & trying to add her as a Facebook friend.

This naturally brought out a deep sense of how vulnerable one really is. We lodged a complaint and the hospital, which has a long history of ethical standards is making its own investigation. Any action by the hospital will be made on the basis of their own independent investigation. My personal position still remains that this is a serious breach of patient-doctor privilege.

Women are afraid to voice issues of harassment and unethical behavior because they may be ignored or because we drown out their voices.

You may disagree with the manner in which I called out the doctor’s behaviour, debate the boundaries of social media with the medical profession and my form and tone of expression but ultimately, what happened was a breach of trust and a severe lack of a professional code of conduct that led to a woman feeling violated and harassed. And on that, I will not stay silent.

– Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

Here are her original tweets

There are zero boundaries in ! Last night my sister went to AKU emergency & the doctor who tended to her tried 2 add her on FB 1/2

I don’t quite understand how doctor tending 2 emergency patients thinks it’s ok to take a female patient info & add her on FB! 2/2 unethical

Unfortunately the doctor messed with the wrong women in the wrong family and I will definitely report him! Harassment has 2 stop!

AKU Hospital fired the doctor

After her tweets caught massive attention on the internet, AKU fired the doctor involved in the case and issued the following statement.

Following this announcement, an outrage on the internet began. Several celebrities along with common people blamed Sharmeen for taking things too far by calling it harassment.