A Doctor Makes a Choice

Zhong Yuan

PureInsight | December 17, 2007

[PureInsight.org] This story
appears in an historical account of Chinese medicine. There was a
doctor who had extremely good medical skills and a noble moral sense.
He saved numerous patients with serious illnesses and had prestige,
fame, and was loved by the local people. One day, a person from out of
town came to ask him to help his family member, who was seriously ill
and whose life was in grave danger, quickly. Without saying anything,
the doctor quickly got ready to leave. At this moment, he received the
bad news that his son had been kidnapped by a group of bandits. The
bandit chief demanded a ransom right away.

At that moment, he was in a dilemma. His choice was between saving a
stranger and paying ransom to save his son's life. He must choose one.
He pondered a moment and decided that it was his duty to save the
person. He therefore went off to treat the patent without looking back.
The patient was saved. When he returned home, exhausted, both bodily
and mentally, he was stupefied to find that his son was playing as if
nothing had happened. He asked what had happened. He found out that,
when the bandits didn't receive the ransom money, they came to
investigate and found out that the doctor went to treat a patient who
was seriously ill. So the bandits released his son.

The doctor conducted himself with dignity. Our forefathers not only
stressed medical skills but also valued morality and high standards of
conduct. Of course, bandits are forever to be condemned and cast aside.
Here we are only to take the example of a moral act to elaborate on the
principle that a doctor should always adhere to medical ethics and not
be tempted by fame and wealth of this mundane world, especially selfish

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