Saturday, July 25, 2009

Union Hospital Criticized

The Peking Union Medical College Hospital (Beijing Union Hospital) was criticized for not responding to a traffic accident 300 feet away.

At 10:10 am July 23, 2009, 300 feet away from the Beijing Union Hospital, a young woman was stuck by a bus. It is on a crowded heavy traffic street right at downtown Beijing. Police came within minutes, but ambulance never came. Police followed normal traffic accident procedure, surveyed the scene, and marked the position of the victim on the ground. With concerns of the injury, the police left the woman remain laying while calling for medical assistance. In the next 40 minutes, hundreds of bystanders gathered and more police arrived at the scene. Everyone was calling for medical help, but no medical personnel ever showed up. Police and bystanders went as far as going to the Union Hospital on foot (it's not that far anyway) to ask for help.

With time passing by, a puddle of blood spread out under the woman's body. The crowded finally exploded with angry and frustration. Against police's instruction, bystanders carried the woman to the ER.

Union Hospital is one of the first modern hospitals set up in China. It is also known for the death of Liang Qichao, one of the most prominent Chinese scholars in history. Liang was suffered with kidney disease. In a time when Chinese society was wavering on whether to embrace modern technology, Liang decided to take a surgery despite most of his friends suggested traditional Chinese medicine. However, his healthy immediately got worse after the surgery. Union Hospital soon realized its doctors had removed his healthy left kidney, while kept his failed right kidney. Liang was worried on the possible reaction from the ordinary people if the fact leaked out and ordered keeping it a secret. Liang died in a few days.

The Beijing Union Hospital is part of the Qinghua University. A full length video of the incident was posted to video sharing website youku by a bystander.

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