Duty first

June 16, 2017 14:04 PM Republica

A surgeon became the talk of the town earlier this week for posting a photo with notorious criminal Charles Sobhraj, popularly known as the ‘Bikini Killer’.

Dr Raamesh Koirala, cardiac surgeon of Shahid Gangalal National Heart Center tweeted, ‘Yes! He has a heart and I just fixed valves inside. Recovering normally. #Charles #Sobhraj.’ The photo went viral both on news and social media.

“I thought I should break the news about his successful operation as national and international media were curious,” shared Dr Koirala with The Week.

Prior to the surgery, Dr Koirala hadn’t told anyone, except his doctor wife, that he was going to fix a valve of the notorious murderer. Her wife had asked him, ‘Does he have a heart?’ and Dr Koirala had also tweeted, ‘Yes! He has a heart’, after the surgery.

His tweets met with a lot of criticism and raised questions like whether a doctor should have posed with a criminal. However, Dr Koirala says that a doctor’s responsibility is to be fair and love their patients despite their backgrounds.

According to the doctor, open heart surgery is risky for those above 70. Charles was 73 and actually wanted to go to France to get the procedure done. He didn’t trust Nepali doctors and was worried since two of his valves were damaged. But a team of Nepali doctors led by Dr Koirala showed him that his skepticism was ill-founded.

Besides being a doctor by profession, Dr Koirala is also a novelist. He has published two books – ‘Aamako Mutu’ and ‘Kopila Ashram’, and is currently working on his third book. He confesses that he wouldn’t dare to quit his job to become a writer because he isn’t confident that he will be able to make a living out of it.  

However, he didn’t always want to become a doctor either. “I actually wanted to study engineering but I didn’t get a scholarship so I changed my mind,” said Dr Koirala who has previously also worked as advisor to the former health minister Gagan Thapa. Generally, leaders don’t appoint people outside their party circle as advisors but Dr Koirala was an exception. “I’m not a member of any political party. I just vote consciously. That’s all the political engagement I have,” he said.  


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