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Lawyers having a riot – in a hospital – some killed

I am surprised that this story from Pakistan – perhaps this is real ‘lawfare’? –

Three die as marauding Pakistan lawyers rampage through cardiac hospital

has not gained more attention, there is a paywall but there is other coverage. The gist of it is that after a dispute at a cardiac unit over priority for treatment, and insults being traded between physicians and lawyers, a riot of lawyers ensued that the Pakistani police could only contain with military assistance, and there are unconfirmed reports of patients dying after either being attacked by lawyers or deserted by medical staff.

Breitbart has the story too, with a death toll of around 12.

A mob of two hundred lawyers attacked the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) in Lahore, Pakistan, on Wednesday, causing at least 12 deaths, several of them critical care patients whose treatments were interrupted by the riot.

The swarm of lawyers was armed with firebombs and a number of handguns. Police cars were set ablaze during their confrontation with riot police, while the hospital suffered damage to windows, doors, and delicate equipment inside.

The genesis of the dispute is reported as being:

The bizarre rampage was touched off by a scuffle on Tuesday that sounds like a comedy skit gone horribly wrong: a lawyer demanded priority treatment at the hospital, the doctors said no, and the lawyer marched off to the local police station to demand they arrest the recalcitrant doctors on terrorism charges.

When the police said no, the infuriated lawyer returned to the hospital with some of his colleagues for a confrontation with the doctors, who filmed the ensuing confrontation and posted the video online with commentary mocking the lawyers. The following day, a mob of two hundred enraged lawyers descended upon the hospital and began trashing everything from parked cars to medical equipment.

So the good news is that Pakistan’s police have a firmer grasp of the concept of the rule of law than this gang of lawyers.

The hospital itself is the Punjab Institute of Cardiology, which provides free health care to almost 500,000 patients a year. Presumably it is State-funded, but there may be some religious charitable giving. It does accept donations for patient welfare, and provides private treatment in the evenings.

So why couldn’t the uppity lawyer who started this have waited till the evening and paid for some private care?

There may be more to this than meets the eye, the article alludes to long-running tensions between lawyers and doctors in Lahore (but no reason for them). A local lawyers’ rep. doesn’t seem to be particularly conciliatory:

The vice chair of the Pakistan Bar Council, Syed Amjad Shah, condemned the violence but described it as “the individual act of a few lawyers” while blaming the doctors for starting the fight by “misbehaving.”

Presumably the ‘lawyer’ pictured pointing a pistol in this local piece fully complies with the rules of professional conduct? In the USA, he might be simply vigorously demonstrating the Second Amendment.

What is the answer to this sort of behaviour, apart from rigorous law enforcement? It is, I suppose, a backhanded compliment to Pakistan’s hospitals that people will kill if denied priority treatment. Why doesn’t the NHS provoke such passions?

9 comments to Lawyers having a riot – in a hospital – some killed

  • Mark

    Presumably the priority operation was to have his head removed from his arse.

    People think “Pakistan” and “degenerate shitehole” are the same word. Can’t think why.

  • Agammamon

    In the USA, he might be simply vigorously demonstrating the Second Amendment.

    Hmph! In the US we don’t vigorously demonstrate the Second Amendment by waving guns around. Firearms stay secured until you need to use them.

  • Sam Duncan

    “[T]he article alludes to long-running tensions between lawyers and doctors in Lahore (but no reason for them).”

    Hmm. Pakistan, eh? Are we talking lawyers as we’d recognise them in the West, or thinly-disguised clerics in suits and ties (there’s no doubt they look the part… y’know, apart from the rampaging)?

    I mean, I could be wrong, but it would hardly be a shock, would it?

  • Itellyounothing

    Sharia Judges, “Lawyers” perhaps…..

  • Tim the Coder

    The lawyer should have been given priority ‘treatment’.
    10g of phenolpthalein would have removed him from the scene appropriately. To much amusement too.
    (or similar brandname medication with semi-plausible medical justification, if Doc’s feeling defensive).

    When he could venture out again, he just might have learned some manners. 2nd offence…hmm let’s see…invasive procedure needed….
    Bullying a doctor who will administer your treatement scores where on the IQ scale?

  • Julie near Chicago

    Good point! 😆

  • Eric Tavenner

    “What is the answer to this sort of behaviour, apart from rigorous law enforcement?”
    There’s always Shakespear’s admonition, “First, we kill all the lawyers.”

  • Paul Marks

    I do not know the details of the case – but it appears that these lawyers have behaved very badly.

    My sympathies to the families of the people who have died.

  • Rich Rostrom

    At least in this case, the rioting group has been identified. (Though I suspect there is something going on besides “inter-professional rivalry”. Are the doctors at this hospital Ahmadis, or some other group considered inferior by Punjabis? There had to be something to provoke such rage.)

    Contrast with the hospital riot that occurred in Minnesota a few weeks ago.

    A shooting victim was transported to a hospital in the Minneapolis suburbs. Several dozen associates (relatives? neighbors? street gang colleagues?) of the victim arrived soon after. Arguments broke out among them, escalating to a general melee. Police from several agencies were required to quell the disorder, and the hospital was put under lockdown.

    There has not been one word in the press coverage about who the victim or the rioters were. One may guess that they were not “Norwegian bachelor farmers”.

    The hospital is in the congressional district of Ilhan Omar, which suggests which “protected group” it was. However, there has been one story of a black man complaining of police disrespect during the incident. But that story does not suggest he was involved in the riot – more that police were brusque with him during the lockdown.

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