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A case of life and order

Updated: 2016-01-19 08:26
(China Daily)

A case of life and order

A doctor removes glass from a victim's hand who is injured of a bus fire at the No.1 Hospital in Xiamen,Southeast China's Fujian Province, Jan 15, 2015.[Xinhua]

The death of a scientist surnamed Yang, who was seven months pregnant, at Peking University Third Hospital on Jan 11 has drawn a lot of media attention because of the dispute that has erupted between prestigious national institutions.

The Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, where Yang worked, sent a letter to the hospital, which it said was at the request of Yang's family, calling for a "fair, transparent and thorough" investigation.

The hospital responded by claiming dozens of relatives and friends of Yang assaulted medical staff and damaged hospital equipment after her death. The Chinese Medical Doctor Association then became involved saying the institute should educate its employees to follow the law.

This unseemly war of words should end, and thorough investigations should be conducted to find out what really happened at the hospital.

If the hospital's claims prove true, Yang's relatives and friends risk facing criminal charges. The amended Criminal Law came into effect on Nov 1, 2015, criminalizing acts that threaten the security of medical staff or disrupt the functioning of hospitals. If convicted, violators can be sentenced up to seven years in prison.

At the same time, a transparent investigation by an independent authoritative medical arbitration organization ought to be initiated to find out if the hospital bears any responsibility for Yang's death.

Whatever the results of these probes, people should not let their anger and frustration take the better of their senses if a patient dies in a hospital.

Doctor-patient relations have been tense in recent years for various social reasons, and that makes a proper and timely clarification of what happened on that fateful day all the more important.

Meanwhile, mechanisms for communication between doctors and patients should be upgraded to make them more effective.

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