Once again, a viral video is sparking outrage in Lebanon. Footage from a security camera in Miniyeh Hospital, in Tripoli, showing a doctor physically assaulting a nurse, sparked outrage in the country.
The shocking video shows the nurse and the doctor side by side at a desk in one of the hospital’s offices when she hands him over a file – reportedly a patient’s file that she wanted him to sign – before he hits her on the face with the papers in his hand.
The video not only angered people on social media but also prompted a response from the Order of Nurses in Lebanon, which issued a statement on Wednesday.
“While performing her work and professional duties, a nurse was struck by a doctor in a hospital in the North region, in the ugliest form of interactions between workers in the health sector that is today the focus of attention of the entire society.”
“This assault,” the statement added, “cannot pass without accountability because the reckless practices of some doctors are an obstacle to the professional solidarity required for the health of people and society.”
People are calling for the arrest of the doctor for his actions, which also involved verbally abusing the nurse. One thing that was met with notable criticism was one aspect of Miniyeh Hospital’s comment on the incident.
In a statement, the hospital instead condemned the sharing of the video of what it said was “an incident under administrative investigation to find out its circumstances, and this leak is condemned by the hospital administration.”
Some commented on Twitter that the doctor didn’t slap the nurse but just hit her with the documents, which, if true, doesn’t make the act less physically aggressive.
In the end, one Twitter user’s comment summarized the attitude of many others on the incident:
“We’re waiting to see something tangible other than condemnation and denunciation. Talking is very sweet but doesn’t restore her right.”
Fact is, there is no ‘sweetness’ to any talk around an act of aggression, especially from a man imposing his position of power towards a woman under his authority, let alone in a hospital where self-control is expected from doctors whatever the pressure.
In any case, that type of assault at the workplace, whether in a hospital, an office, or a farm, is a form of abuse of power towards a subordinate who can’t respond nor complain in fear of losing his or her job.
Whatever the mistake of this nurse, if any, that caused the doctor to lose self-control could have been dealt with professionalism and civility. The use of physical reaction was indeed outrageous.