Medical ethics and human decency disappear when it comes to Chen Shui-bian’s family
After seeing the hostility shown to Chen Shui-bian’s grand child by the elementary school he was supposed to attend this September, another incident on 9th July again showed the lack of respect and decency for Chen’s family.
On 9 July 2009, former first lady of Taiwan, Wu Shu-jen, was rushed to Kaohsiung Medical University Chung-ho Hospital because her blood pressure was dangerously low and she was feeling very unwell. While she was in the hospital, her son, Chen Chih-chung and daughter-in-law, Huang Jui-ching went to see her. On their arrival, the press was already waiting INSIDE the hospital in the hallway and the corridor.
Chen and Huang didn’t know where to go at first and one of the female journalists told them they had gone the wrong way. It is funny how the press knew where it was supposed to be before the family. The hospital staff was nowhere to be seen at this point. As there were too many people in that corridor, some journalists warned each other to be careful. They were loud and pushing each other. In the mid of all this, one of the male journalists already started asking Chen Chih-chung questions about his mother’s conditions along with some others.
Chen Chih-chung simply quietly asked twice ‘Can you let us through, please?’
Huang also said in a low voice a couple of times ‘Can you let us get inside and see [my mother in law]?’
Those journalists did not give up ‘What’s going on now? Why did this happen? Did it happen suddenly? …Just say something brief…’
Huang Jui-ching now appeared to be slightly irritated and said ‘Can you let us go inside and see [my mother-in-law] first, which is more important? Is it so important for you to interview us? Just let us go inside and see [her] first.’
At this point, the head of PR of the hospital turned up. She used to be a journalist in China Times and her name is Wang Kuang-fu (王廣福).
She first told the journalists to stop and wait and then turned to Chen and Huang, saying ‘I’m sorry. I’m the head of PR here.’
As she was talking, she was putting her right hand in front of Chen’s shoulder to stop him from walking further.
She went on to say ‘Please, Chih-chung, can you two wait for a bit?’
At the same time, a woman in the crowd of journalists said ‘Just stop and talk [to us] for a little while’.
The head of PR went on ‘the journalists have been waiting for a long time and it’s not exactly convenient [to talk] inside. They may be very concerned about this situation and why don’t you talk to them now?’
Chen replied ‘I haven’t even seen my mother yet. What would you like me to say…?’
Huang said ‘You have to let us see my mother [in law] first.’
Chen asserted ‘I would like to see my mother first.’
Wang then said ‘Then you have to see whether the press are willing to wait for you. So now are you still going to go inside first?’
Huang raised her voice ‘Of course!’
It seemed to be another woman in the crowd (probably a journalist) that said ‘Sorry, can we let them go inside first and come back here later?’
Wang finally backed off and said ‘OK’. She then turned to all the journalists and told them to wait in that area and then escorted Chen and Huang in.
Before going in, Chen said to them all ‘You have to respect the patients and put the patients first.’
It’s not as if there are no regulations about the press conduct in hospital environments. They are clearly set out by Department of Health but ignore by this particular hospital when it comes to Chen Shui-bian’s family. So far, I have not seen any reports that Wu actually gave her permission for the hospital to allow journalists to ask about her conditions. Not only did Wang show no respect to Wu, she also violated other patients’ rights by allowing journalists in the hospital, blocking the hallway and making all sorts of noise.
It’s been over 24 hours since this happened and I have not been able to find any new reports about the hospital and Wang publicly apologising for what happened or Wang being reprimanded or punished for her behaviour by the hospital management in any way. Not surprisingly, no authority has condemned such violations of medical ethics. In fact, the Chinese Nationalist Party legislator, Chiu Yi, implied that this (Wu being unwell and rushed to the hospital) was just another ‘act’ of the Chen family. Luckily, the public has a sense of decency as a lot of people phoned the hospital PR office to express their disgust at Wang’s conduct after the news came out