Hospital Violence Sign of Doctor-patient Strife
2012-05-08 10:19:26 Shanghai Daily Web Editor: cuichaoqun
By Ni Tao
Nowhere on earth is the relationship between doctors and patients more murderously strained than in China.
A spate of deadly attacks on doctors by vengeful patients and their families has exacerbated tensions and prompted authorities to crack down on violence at hospitals.
The ministries of public security and health recently publicized a joint circular that makes seven acts of disturbance at hospitals liable to legal punishment.
These acts include, for instance, turning hospitals into mourning halls for dead patients, burning paper money supposed to be used by the dead in their afterlife and worst of all, putting on display the bodies of the deceased who their relatives believe have died as a result of erroneous prognosis, negligence and medical malpractice.
Oftentimes a patient's body is used as a bargaining chip to wring more cash compensation from hospitals, which are desperate to avoid the damage such stunts will do to their reputation and business.
The stakes are higher when yi nao, professional troublemakers, are paid to play the roles of angry relatives, thus intensifying doctor-patient strife for pecuniary gains.1 2