A Plea from a doctor for President Chen/自由時報2013-3-03/ translated by Jay Tu

敬請支持‧歡迎訂閱本報newsletter
陳水扁病情
A Plea from a doctor for President Chen
by Dr. Lai Chi-Won, Nurologist
3-3-2013 Liberty Times  (Translated by Jay Tu, not word for word)
I was invited by a Control Yuan member, Huang Huang-Hsiung, to join a medical team assembled to examine President Chen as a part of his investigation into President Chen’s imprisonment condition and medical care (or lack of). Therefore, I witnessed the health deterioration of President Chen in person. I would like to share some of my thoughts.
I remember when I was receiving my neurology training in the US, one professor showed us a cartoon of a headstone epitaph, which stated “Doctor! I told you that I was sick many times but you never believed me.”  Because there always will be some uncertainties in the medical science, this professor stressed that we should never accuse a patient of faking a symptom simply because the symptom does not fit the patterns of the textbooks or what we are familiar with. I had practiced for over twenty years in the US, mainly in university teaching hospitals, before returning to Taiwan.  I always advise young doctors in Taiwan to stay humble and to avoid jumping to a conclusion by accusing a patient of faking his/her symptoms.  Instead, doctors should carefully read the medical records and conduct thorough diagnosis of a patient.  However, there are so many government officials, politicians, TV commentators, personalities, etc., openly accusing President Chen of faking his symptoms in a definitive tone, while almost none of them have any medical trainings, nor have they examined President Chen in person. It is ridiculous.
A few days ago, Mr. Huang asked me to attend a Control Yuan news conference to release his investigation report.  I stressed that the family support is highly critical to President Chen’s recovery from severe depression because I witnessed how emotional he was when he recounted his first New year Eve dinner with his family after five years of harsh imprisonment. I was shocked and extremely disappointed when a person, who was not a journalist in the news conference, suddenly interrupted me in a loud and rude voice to challenge my statement.
Although we don’t know the exact causes resulting in President Chen’s degenerative brain conditions yet, we, as doctors, must find ways to keep the symptoms from deteriorating. In the medical field, we observe this principle – “Even though we are limited in our skills to cure patients, we should always try to relieve the pain and to comfort patients.”  I have practiced for over 40 years and I have never treated a patient differently simply because of his or her political stance.  This will be my fifteenth year since I returned to my homeland, Taiwan, but I have never been this disappointed.
I only have one humble appeal:
“Please let me do my job to treat my patient!” 
(賴醫師原文)
自由時報
自從黃煌雄監察委員邀請我加入陳前總統水扁醫療案調查團隊以來,讓我有機會為陳前總統做神經學檢查,親眼看到他病情的惡化。今天想以醫師的身分,說幾句內心的感受。
記得許多年前,我在美國接受神經科訓練時,一位老師曾經要我們記 住一張漫畫,畫的是在墳墓的墓碑上,刻著這麼幾個字:「醫生,我告訴過你好幾次我有病,但你都不相信。」他很嚴肅地告誡大家,「醫學上永遠有『不確定性』 的存在。許多病我們可能最初看不懂,但絕不能因為病人所呈現的症狀徵候不是你以前看過的或教科書所寫的,你就說這病人是假裝的。」我在國外二十幾年,一直 都服務於大學醫院,回國後也一直不忘在床側指導年輕醫學生看病,最怕的就是醫生失去謙沖,沒有好好詢問病史或做身體診察就下診斷,或甚至以為病人是「假裝 的」。但今天台灣居然縱容非醫學背景,當然沒有機會檢查病人的名人或官員,振振有詞地公開斷言陳前總統的語言障礙、肢體顫抖、步伐不穩是「正常」、「裝病」,真是匪夷所思。
前幾天當黃煌雄委員邀請我參加記者招待會時,我說,瞭解陳前總統這幾年來所受到的待遇,以及目睹他述說今年是五年來第一 次與家人吃年夜飯的激動神情,我忍不住說出,這種重度憂鬱又加上退化性腦疾病的病人,家人的支持應該是非常重要的治療。想不到居然有一位非記者的人士,大 聲斥責我的說法,頓時使我悲憤莫名。
雖然到目前為止,我們仍然無法判定其神經學的病因,但這種包括大 腦皮質、基底腦核、小腦的問題,很可能是無法根治的退化性腦病變,但身為醫師,也應該可以建議如何避免加速其惡化。醫界有句名言,「雖然醫師的能力是有限 的,能夠治癒的並不多,但我們應該經常想到紓解病人的痛苦,而我們永遠能夠安慰我們的病人。」我行醫 已經四十多年,從來沒有因為病人的政治立場,影響我對病人的照顧。但想不到在回到故鄉即將邁入第十五年時,卻讓我如此的失望。請傾聽我卑微的要求,讓我盡 醫師的天職,幫忙病人、不加害病人。
(作者為神經內科醫師)
2013-03-03
本報24/7隨時更新 歡迎定閱newsletter

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here