This Doctor gave his life for humanity but humanity didn’t let him rest in peace

Dr A Simon Hercules, Managing Director, New Hope Hospital, Chennai died due to COVID-19 which he contracted from one of his patients. The 55-year-old neurosurgeon has helped hundreds of patients in his lifetime, and is remembered by people around him as a person who put humanity first (source). But after his death he didn’t get what a human being deserves after death.
Dr Simon was admitted in early April after showing symptoms of COVID-19 and he passed away at the Apollo Hospital in Vanagaram in Chennai on 18th of April. When his body was handed over to the family they planned to take it to the burial ground in TB Chatram in Kilpauk. His wife and son were accompanied by few doctors very close to him and two ambulance drivers.
“The ambulance with the mortal remains was stopped in front of Ega theatre and the drivers were beaten up and also the ambulance damaged. Further the body was left in the middle of road opposite to the theatre. Since the drivers were injured, Dr Pradeep drove the ambulance to another cemetery and buried the body with his own hands”- writes Dr Narmada, Secretary IMA Vellore.
“The JCB had dug about 6 feet into the ground, when 50-60 people came towards us,” Dr Pradeep recalls, “They began hitting us with wooden logs and throwing stones at us. They damaged the ambulance and hit the drivers on the head with logs. They hit the doctors and the sanitary inspectors as well. The deceased’s family was also not spared. The Corporation staff were forced to flee the spot,” says Dr Pradeep (source)
Can we imagine the pain of grieving family and friends who instead of getting empathy on the death of their beloved got beaten up? People thought his burial will lead to the spread of virus in the area. What if doctors too decide to stay away from infected people? Who is going to save lives in this current pandemic? He deserved respect as a martyr and not this.
Dr Bhagyaraj, says in his video “We were not able to save him first, and then we couldn’t even bury him. How will his soul rest in peace?” This is not the first time doctors were attacked by a group of people, it’s a daily thing now when on social media we keep calling them heroes. This incident has left whole medical fraternity in shock.
Meanwhile Odisha has decided to treat all healthcare workers and support service staff who die fighting the coronavirus pandemic as marytrs and give them state funerals, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said on Tuesday.Their relatives with receive Rs 50 lakh, he said. Awards will be instituted to recognise their sacrifice and handed out on national days(source).
We appreciate this gesture of Odisha government and hope that humanity understands the importance of doctors and start treating them as life savers if not heroes.

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