Medical mistakes- Perfect example of jie3dao1sha1ren2

I found what I believe to be a very good example of a Chinese idiom jie3dao1sha1ren2 the third one from the 36 strategies.

If you’ve been reading the paper for the last year or so, you would of seen early articles about how they want to reform the medical establishment in Taiwan. Anybody familiar with Chinese culture, Taiwan in particular, knows you don’t loudly broadcast your intentions to change/reform anything. Broadcasting your intentions will only lead to loud protests from the parties involved and a resignation or two from the cabinet.

The idiom translates something like the following, “Borrow knife to kill person.” It’s meaning is to make use of another person to get rid of an adversary. Let me explain how it applies to the current scandals revealed recently about hospital/medical mistakes.

Hospitals and doctors make mistakes all the time. Human fallibility is a given. In Taiwan, Doctors are given kickbacks for prescribing medication. This is a major reason, when you go to the doctor for a cold; he gives you 4 pills (occasional over-prescribed anti-biotic) and a bottle of cough syrup. This has a 33% success rate for me; which means I only get better from 1 in 3 doctor visits. Doctors also like to recommend surgery for common maladies, which don’t always require surgery. This runs up the tab of National Health Insurance program (NHI). Taiwanese gov’t is starting to run a nasty budget deficit and wanting to hide debts (the Enron way). Now they have a reason to reform/change their practices, but how to do it and not repeat any of the last reform fiascos?

Use their assets, in Taiwan, all newspapers, radio stations, and TV channels are owned by the Taiwanese gov’t, politicians, or political cronies. The fourth estate has no real independence in Taiwan or anywhere else in Asia. The 4th estate has been bending over backwards lately to show a steady flow of medical mis/malpractice. Someone is calling the shots, in order for this to happen. The medical community gets a lot of respect, power and deference in this country.

If it is more than my own little conspiracy theory, we are seeing a possibility for some real reforms for once in a part of society that needs it. Think how much more effective reform of the farmers and fishermen

Just curious–do you think doctors encourage ceasarean birth and drug-induced labor to jack up hospital bills (in addition to making birth convenient)?


Yes, I do. I think there are more reasons than that though.

I think the reasons for the large amount of c-sections and drug induced labor are:

  1. Mother doesn’t want to experience and/or deal with the pain of childbirth. A perceived less painful convenience sells easier than a painful cheaper alternative

  2. Doctor makes more money to do a c-section and use drugs.

  3. You can time the birth, just like the Chen Shuibien’s daughter. I wouldn’t underestimate this last reason. They have a book that details what is good and bad to do on each day, luckwise.