"How are you feeling today, young man” asked the Doctor as he entered the cabin with a horde of his junior doctors. He placed his hand on Bharat's shoulder in an assuring manner.
“Breathlessness is there but managing somehow with oxygen" he replied with a forced smile on his face.
"I know but am unable to increase diuretics beyond the present high dosage. The discomfort is due to accumulation of fluid as the heart is not efficient. Let me see tomorrow what else can be done"
"Doctor, my dad has just left for home and mom is expected any moment. Can I have word with you in private?"
The doctor turned towards the nurse and his assistants. They left the cabin immediately leaving the two alone.
"What is it,Bharat?"
"Doctor, let us drop all the pretensions. I am aware of the seriousness of my condition. There is no cure for this except may be a transplant. That option is financially beyond us and is also risky with no fail-proof guarantee. My end can come anytime say a month or two. My object of talking to you privately is to take my acceptance for the use of all the organs that can be harvested successfully. My parents may not agree old fashioned and sentimental as they are. Please have a letter made out quickly and I will sign in the presence of two witnesses."
"Be positive. Our life is in the hands of god. Losing hope will only harm you. I appreciate your noble values. I have never come across in my long career such a request. These things are best discussed with your parents. But there need be no anxiety. I am doing my best to make you better. Be cheerful"
"No, doctor. I am a major and alert in mind. I can decide what to do with my body..Anything can happen anytime in my present condition. My desire should not remain unrealized by default. Please get this done today itself" Bharat pleaded.
"Okay, as you wish. I am proud of you and strongly believe you will recover. Will ask my assistant to see you shortly with papers"
It was 7pm.The doctor was still seeing the out patients in his chamber at the hospital. He got a call on intercom from the ward.Bharat was rushed to ICCU and put on ventilator. His condition worsened and he breathed his last at 9 pm.The doctor was still at his bedside. Though a professional, he could not suppress the tears welling up in his eyes.
The parents were inconsolable when shown the letter of permission from Bharat and as a measure of precaution their nod was also obtained. There were critical patients awaiting already for the many healthy parts except for his heart.
The measure of a life does not lie in its longevity but how well one has served the society. It is not duration of life but the willing donation of eyes and other organs that sets apart the noble from the ordinary.