Government tells BKs to stop counseling HIV patients

for ex-Brahma Kumaris, to discuss matters related to their experiences in BKWSU & after leaving.
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fluffy bunny
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Government tells BKs to stop counseling HIV patients

Post by fluffy bunny » 13 May 2008

Targetting another group of vulnerable people ... "its your karma!".
Times of India wrote:Stop counseling HIV patients at J J Hospital, Government tells Brahma Kumaris by KetanTanna/TNN

Mumbai: The state health ministry has asked a religious group to call off a programme for counselling AIDS patients at J J Hospital citing lack of space. The Brahma Kumaris had been invited by the dean some months ago following a spate of suicides by HIV-afflicted patients. The room where the Brahma Kumaris counseled the patients and advised them to adopt meditational techniques to counter stress is now shut.

Confirming that the Brahma Kumaris had been told to leave, dean of J J Hospital Dr Pravin Shingare said the state government had denied permission for the Brahma Kumaris to stay on. “In any case it was an experimental programme which had to be approved by the government. Yet, I feel they really contributed to the well being of the patients, which is what my professors of medicine told me. I am trying to get them back,’’ said Shingare.

Shingare’s enthusiasm for the Brahma Kumaris is not shared by the Department of Medicine which handles the crucial Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) for HIV positive persons. Under the ART programme, J J Hospital treats 2,371 severely AIDS-infected persons in addition to nearly 4,000 patients with the HIV virus who have not developed AIDS.

Free anti-retroviral drugs are given to the 2,371 persons (1,612 males, 758 females, 1 eunuch) every month for six months and later refills are given for two months after six months are over. On any given day there are five to nine new patients and on a crowded day, there are nearly 200-250 patients sprawled across every available inch of space in the ART department on the second floor. From the same place, anti-TB, anti-pneumonia and antifungal treatment are also given to HIV positive persons. Additionally, free condoms are distributed as a measure of HIV prevention.

From one end of the small room extending to another adjacent small room, HIV afflicted persons wait their turn patiently for treatment. If they are lucky, they get a wee bit of space on a wooden bench outside. Since many of then suffer from opportunistic ailments like tuberculosis, the likelihood of infection spreading from one person to another is always a risk. Individual counselling is tough as the resources are minimal and therefore often there is mass counseling. Since there is lack of space and of resources, anti-retroviral drugs that are sent in bulk packages from New Delhi are stored on the fifth floor in one corner. Often the counsellors or ward boys along with the patients run up and down to fetch the medicines.

At J J Hospital, where space and resources are at a premium, a spacious room exclusively for Brahma Kumaris was indeed a luxury. “What was needed was medical counselling. You cannot invite Brahma Kumaris to come and counsel HIV positive persons. The hospital is not a religious place where non-medical persons are needed and that too in a crucial department like HIV/AIDS. When we in the department are gasping for more trained personnel and more space, I wonder how we can justify such peace meditation,’’ asked a senior person in the ART department.

Earlier this week, the ART department recently became the first centre in India to give free treatment to small children who have been afflicted with HIV virus.

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Re: Government tells BKs to Stop counseling HIV patients

Post by jaycdp » 13 May 2008

OK, in that case heaven will be full of AIDS patients. It is a good thing the hospital banned them. First of all, brahmakumaris are acting like Americans here. Americans like to help AIDS patients in Africa (even though it took long time for them to give a permission to Cipla that makes the pills). (BKs) their ego is so high they think they are already devthas (both Americans and brahmakumaris think that they are on top of the world. Not only that they both think they are invincible. They should be doing some blood test within the brahmakumaris so that they can find lots of them. And this way they do not have to go to a Bombay hospital. I do not mind brahmakumaris minding their own business. When they come to mind other people's business they can become a potential virus. This is like USA going to Iraq to help so-called Iraqis. Both have good intention. Both BKs and USA have good intentions. Unfortunately there is no one in the world who bans these two.

Om Shanti

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Re: Government tells BKs to Stop counseling HIV patients

Post by paulkershaw » 14 May 2008

We should bear in mind that there are many hospitals world-wide who encourage lay preachers and volunteers to come 'visit' the patients and spend some time with them.

However, this is mostly done at the patients bed-side and are not given a seperate room to work in.

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Re: Government tells BKs to stop counseling HIV patients

Post by yogi108 » 14 May 2008

Hello All,

Again, I am not trying to be critical of some of the posts here about the BKs being involved in the hospital ... I agree all's not well with Yagya etc ... but, hey, I have seen Hospice treatment given to people abroad by the some of the BKs and, believe me, it has given solace to the folks who are pronounced dead and actually waiting for the D-Day ...

So let us not blindly be critical of all the work that the BK is involved with. In the article that ex-l has reproduced, all it says is that the BKs were involved in JJ hospital and because of the space constraint they have been asked to leave ...

Let's leave it at that.

Om Shanti

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Re: Government tells BKs to stop counseling HIV patients

Post by fluffy bunny » 14 May 2008

I would agree that nice people saying nice things to you in a gentle fashion at the time you are dying probably is solace. Generally spiritualistic solace is not a bad thing, even if one does not agree with the overall picture, although I would like to think that they are not having the course stuffed down their neck (it is probably a bit late for them to sort out their karmic account). Are the BKs allowed to hold people's hands and stuff like that? (... and, yup, sad to say I mean that question genuinely!).

I am not so sure about the reported reasoning though. It sounds very much a diplomatic response ... making a decision without having to make a decision because there was also a reported concern about the dedication of a "luxurious" and "sizable" room. Baba only getting the best whilst the poor die on the streets. We all not what healthcare provision in India is like.

The reason I posted it was so that we could discuss the nature of this service. My reading of the article was, given that it was considered newsworthy enough to be published, was that there was more to it than immediately met the eye. As the BKWSU extends its territory into social and health care services, let us be conscious of how it is happening. The BKWSU has power, wealth but perhaps a lack of commitment to specialist training. In my experience, their service is conditional and I wonder for whom and how the room was being used. It is also hard to know who is a BK or not when it comes to the promoters such schemes.

J.J. Hospital is government-run. In mid-April, three HIV positive men committed suicide (on successive days), two of them jumping off the fifth floor. I appreciate that for the BKs, The Knowledge and the practise is "the ultimate good". Naturally, until a few issues are resolved, I am reserved about that. There is a informed discussion of the environment and issues the BKs are stepping into, here; Sonia Faleiro: Helpless, they sought solace in death. It seems to me that they were used a cheap to free alternative and jumped at a chance to be seen to do good. I would want to know if they were targeting staff as well.

Personally, I have some of those hefty, middle class, ShivShaktis out working to make some money and provide hospice care rather than spending it on palaces and 'converting AIDs victims'. I cant say that is what they are doing though, as I have no direct experience, so I would really like to know what it is if someone cares to report. I'd want to scrub my corporate conscience very hard to think it was the right thing to do ... did they have any specialist training or in India, is that not important?

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Re: Government tells BKs to stop counseling HIV patients

Post by yogi108 » 14 May 2008

I was talking of hospice in the US and Australia ... I do not know too much of how it is being done in India ... I agree that BKs are entering areas which are not their specialisation ... like taking control of parks, hospitals, running SML in corporate houses etc., arent they all touchings from Bap-Dada ... lol

EXL, I agree that they are not all trained in these things but what do you expect those surendered sisters to do? Just roll chappatis and wash utensils ... come on now they need a career path and that is to do hospice, manage hospitals etc.. They are not even talking about succession planning in the BK world ... please do take me seriously.

Yogi

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Re: Government tells BKs to top counseling HIV patients

Post by fluffy bunny » 14 May 2008

I do respect you 108. I suspect that Western hospice Service is different from Indian service, that it is done sensitively and at the server's own expense.

You raise interesting issues that I would hope to agree with, e.g. once "processed" to be altruistic and benign server, the surrendered BK sisters to be put back into the public at all levels and NOT be corrupt as is broadly the norm in developing nations (no offense to Indian hospital staff). What we could be seeing is the evolution of the Brahma Kumaris from a 'millenarianist cult' to a proper 'religious order' complete with hospices and nursing staff etc.

"Succession planning" ... very good point. It is also a good question to ask, "what do I expect them to do?" which I would ask you to allow me to think about and come back to you ... or let us read other's ideas many be on a new topic? Immediately, I would say, "more training please" ... each BK sister to receive basic nursing/first aid/counseling training?

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Re: Government tells BKs to top counseling HIV patients

Post by bansy » 14 May 2008

I would agree that nice people saying nice things to you in a gentle fashion at the time you are dying probably is solace. Generally spiritualistic solace is not a bad thing,
BKs can get a first hand look at this situation with some of the issues and relationships, via a touching movie, Philadelphia (1993).

Actually for anyone spiritual or otherwise, it is a good movie.

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