The worst happened when the families of six patients who died from drug-resistant strains of infection jointly took Mary Hospital to court.
Not only that, one of the patients’ families worked for the Hong Kong Daily News, and she wrote a long article – the human life and blood tears behind the 84.8% miracle.
Every word was blood-curdling and shocking.
The article pointed out that the refusal of Mary Hospital to give her father the new antibiotic caused his death from a drug-resistant infection.
The article asked the hospital three questions.
What were the hospital’s criterias for determining whether a patient was suitable for the new antibiotic, and why did they insist that her father couldn’t be given the antibiotic?
She had seen other patients’ families sign a waiver agreement, which clearly stated that the survival rate of the antibiotic was about 26.7%, but the survival rate of international Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection was only 12%, and the actual effect of the antibiotic was much greater than the description of the agreement, so why did the hospital insist on refusing to inject the patient with the antibiotic even though the patient’s family was willing to sign the waiver agreement?
The hospital leaders, under the same conditions, if it was their loved ones lying in the ward, would they still insist on not giving them the new antibiotic?
The three consecutive questions went straight to the heart of the matter. The public always sympathized with disadvantaged groups, plus the patient’s family member had a deep writing power, reading the whole article made people feel pity, the general public of Hong Kong suddenly had a common enemy, Hong Kong’s doctor-patient conflict suddenly become tense.
Li Zheng put down the newspaper and rubbed his temples, two days after Xu Mingsheng was discharged from the hospital, the incident at Mary’s Hospital continued to ferment in the past two days. After the excited patient’s family was dissuaded by the police, they turned from shouting into a sit-in, white wreaths were placed all over the hospital gates, men and women in mourning clothes gathered as if they had an appointment, and every morning when the doctors went to work they began to stand in two lines at the hospital entrance.
They didn’t fight, they just stared at them, in Mary’s Hospital, many doctors were overwhelmed, leaving the entire hospital in a state of semi-paralysis.
The doctor-patient conflict, from ancient times to the present was a difficult problem, this conflict was insoluble and could only be eased. The slogan of mutual understanding was shouted loudly, but when it came to life, who could guarantee that they would be able to understand?
The patient’s family wasn’t willing to give up any trace of hope that could let their family live, Li Zheng could understand.
The hospital took a huge risk in using a drug that hadn’t passed the biological test to save people, and knowing that the chances of these patients surviving the toxicity of the drug were pathetically small, they gave up injecting them in order to avoid the risk, Li Zheng could also understand.
But the two were precisely contradictory. He shook his head and smiled bitterly, the word trust wasn’t easy to talk about.
He bent the fingers of his right hand and tapped his knuckles on the table. In the end, Chen Sufen and Mary’s Hospital had taken all the responsibility on themselves to protect him, and he couldn’t just watch.
“Li Zheng! The BBC’s Personality of the century! The BBC’s Personality of the century sent an invitation letter!” Zheng Lingling suddenly ran in, her face full of excitement, she looked at Li Zheng as if she was looking at some golden figure.
The BBC’s Personality of the Century, the BBC’s largest talk show, invited carefully selected guests who had a certain influence in the international arena.
In the 1980s, Britain still had some of the afterglow of the Empire of the Sun, and its Person of the Century was named the most influential media in the world, along with TIME magazine in the United States.
Even many Third World leaders were proud to be on BBC Personality of the Century, and such a media sent an invitation to Li Zheng, which made Zheng Lingling’s heart stop beating from excitement.
BBC Personality of the Century? Li Zheng’s brows knitted slightly as he took the invitation letter from Zheng Lingling’s hand and opened it.
Dear Mr. Li Zheng, The Personality of the Century team cordially invites you for an interview on the 28th of this month at 5pm in Room 1307, 13th floor, BBC Building, London.
Endorsement: BBC Personality of the Century, February 24, 1983
“Personality of the Century! It’s the Personality of the century! I remember that Mr. Edward was published in Personality of the Century on his 10th anniversary as Governor of Hong Kong! That was the headline of the Hong Kong Daily News for a whole week!” OH, for goodness sake, Li Zheng, will you take me there? I’ll buy my own ticket, I’ll pay for your ticket, I can carry your bag, book the hotel, I’m sure I won’t say much, I’ll be a scenery board, peaceful and quiet!” Zheng Lingling finished in one breath, not even pausing to take a breath.
Li Zheng was dumbfounded, “Contact them, say I agree, but the interview location should be changed, to Qing garden’s parlour, I still have some work on hand to finish.” He said as a matter of course.
When Li Zheng had achieved fame in his last life, the influence of the Personality of the Century had been considerably less than that of Time Magazine. Thirty years later, if they wanted to interview the then Li Zheng, they needed to personally deliver an invitation to him and let him make an appointment for a time and place for the interview.
The impression was so deep-rooted that he couldn’t change it for a while, making him not take such a “small media” to heart at all.
“Huh?” Zheng Lingling froze in place.
“Let the Personality of the Century team come to Qing Garden?” She repeated in a daze.
Li Zheng heard the confusion between Zheng Lingling’s words and looked up in surprise, “Is there any problem?”
“No!” Zheng Lingling subconsciously replied, then she instantly made a bitter expression, was there a problem? Of course there was a problem! This was the Personality of the century, the Personality of the century!
Seeing Li Zheng lower his head back to work, Zheng Lingling opened her mouth to say something, she glanced at the contact information on the back of the invitation, and a weird sense of pride surged up in her heart.
In the future, when she met people, she could say that she was the one who refused the Personality of the century! Yes, in Zheng Lingling’s opinion, Li Zheng’s answer was no different from an outright refusal. Even the then Governor of Hong Kong, Mr. Edward, still took a special flight from Hong Kong to London for the interview.
“A press conference will be held on Wednesday, and at the press conference, I will take the blame and resign.” Chen Xuhua said.
Mary’s Hospital conference room immediately exploded, “How can this be, President Chen’s decision at the time was the result of our entire vote, how can you take full responsibility!”
“Yes, we all know that with the state of those few people at that time, the chance of surviving the toxicity of the drug was only a few percent, we can’t gamble with the future of the hospital and our entire careers because of these few percent!” It was a crime to inject a patient with a drug that hadn’t passed a biological test without permission, and if it caused death, the patient’s family had the right to pursue or even sue the hospital and the attending physician for murder.
“That’s it! President Chen it’s not your fault! We were all right!” The doctors’ emotions were a bit agitated.
Chen Xuhua raised his hand, signaling the crowd to be quiet.
“I’ve thought about it a lot in the past few days. If we continue to standoff with the patient’s family, the conflict between doctors and patients will become more and more tense, and the working environment for us and our colleagues will become more and more depressing. Yes, from our standpoint, we are right. We did a great job, and we exchanged minimal losses for maximum victories! The survival rate of patients in our hospital in this pseudo-infection event was 84.8%, a world high. No one died from the antibiotic injection. Legally speaking, we are beyond reproach.”
“But what about …… morally?” Chen Xuhua stood up straight, his face a little bitter, “We have a thousand and one reasons to convince ourselves that the decision we made was the right one, the best choice after weighing all aspects. But as the last question in this newspaper says, if the same conditions were with our loved ones, what would we choose?”
There was silence in the conference room as Chen Xuhua put the newspaper back on the table.
“It is a fact that because of our decision, the patient lost the last few percent of the possibility of surviving. As doctors, we will face this choice countless times in the future, and reason and emotion sometimes cannot coexist. I am here to say one last thing as your President, you did the best you could with this incident, please don’t doubt yourselves because of my departure, you are not wrong!”
No one knew which person clapped his hands first, and then a loud applause rang out in the office. The doctors’ eyes were red, they were holding back their grief, Chen Xuhua’s words made their stifling and aggression of the past few days dissipate cleanly at once.
There was no two-way street in the world, they were humans, not God. They could only do the best within their ability.
“Okay, now it’s time for us to go out and apologize to the patients’ families.” Chen Xuhua exhaled a long, heavy breath and said in a fake relaxed manner.
This time, the group of doctors didn’t show any violent defiant emotions, they stood up in silence and followed Chen Xuhua out of the conference room and walked towards the hospital entrance.
When Chen Xuhua and his group appeared, the media at the entrance of the hospital became excited all of a sudden.
They pushed and shoved their way to the front.
“President Chen, what is Mary’s Hospital’s answer to the three questions in the Hong Kong Daily?”
“President Chen, what does Mary’s Hospital have to say about the matter?”
“President Chen, for the matter of the patients’ families jointly suing the hospital, as the defendant party, are you confident that you will win the case?”
The reporters scrambled to come forward, but were stopped outside the gate by the security guards who rushed over from the hospital.
In the midst of the clamor, the doctors of Mary’s Hospital led by Chen Xuhua suddenly bowed down solemnly.
More than two dozen doctors in white coats formed a line and bowed deeply at 90 degrees at the same time. This scene made the scene quiet for a second.
Then countless flash lights came on and all the media present recorded this shocking scene with their cameras.
“President Chen, are you admitting that the hospital is at fault?”
“President Chen, is Mary’s Hospital officially apologizing to the patients’ families?”
“President Chen ……”
The reporters excitedly squeezed forward, seven or eight security guards holding hands could barely stop them.
Chen Xuhua took two steps forward and took the microphone in the hands of a certain shocked reporter.
“We feel sorry for the patients’ families, but we at Queen Mary Hospital Hospital and myself agree that we did the right thing.”
I’m sorry, but I’m not wrong.
Everyone was surprised by Mary’s Hospital’s statement.
“On Wednesday, the day after tomorrow at eight o’clock in the morning, in the conference hall on the second floor of the hospital, we will hold a press conference, at which time I will answer the questions you are now asking and give an explanation to the patients’ families.” Chen Xuhua said with a smile on his face.
“Before that, I hope the patients’ families will also go back to rest. The weather is getting cooler these days, and the flu hasn’t yet passed, so I hope you can take care of yourselves. Thank you.”
Chen Xuhua nodded once again to the crowd, and then turned to leave.
The rest of the doctors followed immediately.
The media looked at each other, how come in just a blink of an eye, everyone was gone? But since Mary’s Hospital said they would answer questions at the conference the day after tomorrow, they didn’t have to stand guard at the door. February was the time when it was cold, who was happy to squat at the hospital entrance on a cold day.
There was also a rustle of chatter among the patients’ families. They were all working people, but they weren’t able to stand it, who had the time to stand in front of the hospital every day.
The hospital was willing to answer their questions positively, so some of the patients’ families had the intention to withdraw. People were subservient creatures, two left, a few hours passed, the patients’ families left in twos and threes, and soon only a wreath was left.
Chen Xuhua’s statement soon made the front page of every major newspaper in Hong Kong.
I’m sorry, but I’m not wrong! These words instantly resounded through the streets of Hong Kong.
Li Zheng had a vague guess in his heart, and his lips pursed into a straight line, “Zheng Lingling, hasn’t there been a reply from the Personality of the Century’s team?”
Zheng Lingling smiled and laughed dryly, Aigoo, my big genius, you still expect them to really come to Hong Kong to interview you.
In the morning, Zheng Lingling dialled the phone number of the Century People and relayed Li Zheng’s reply, there was silence on the other end of the phone, so she guess the staff of the Century People didn’t expect that someone would actually ask their column team to fly to Hong Kong to interview him.
So, the staff politely said that he needed to ask his superiors for instructions.
Zheng Lingling could only smile awkwardly, which, in her opinion, was already a disguised refusal.
“Maybe …… they are still busy.”
Before she could finish her words, the phone on the table rang.
“Hello, this is the Personality of the Century’s programme team ……”