Western groups can help more cancer patients besides Liu Xiaobo

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/7/5 23:43:39

Liu Xiaobo, who is serving an 11-year prison sentence in China for inciting subversion of state power, was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer recently. Prison authorities released a statement Wednesday saying that at the request of Liu's family and as advised by his medical team, top cancer experts from the US and Germany will be invited to China to join the medical team of some of China's top cancer experts already treating Liu.

The statement naturally leads to the question of who is going to pay the bill. According to a notice issued by the Ministry of Justice, living and medical expenses when a criminal is on medical parole should be borne by family members who are responsible for providing support. In individual cases of difficulties, prison authorities can provide subsidies under certain circumstances.

It is out of humanitarian concern that Chinese authorities consented to the request of Liu's family for additional treatment, for instance, by inviting world-famous doctors to participate in his treatment.

Certain forces and agencies from abroad are raising various requests over Liu's treatment, accusing the Chinese government of not providing the best medical support to him.  However, their advocacy is not purely based on charity and humanitarian concern. The biggest difference between charity and politics lies in that charity groups reach out to everyone in need, while politics focuses only on people who can meet certain political demands. In China, there are many cancer patients in need of help, but those ordinary people won't receive the same amount of attention from Western media and forces.

Despite intense attention given to Liu's case, he is first of all an ordinary prisoner. But as the way Liu is being treated is far better than an ordinary prisoner, his medical treatment, if it exceeds the standard levels of treatment, should be paid by his family or foreign humanitarian agencies that support him.

China is a developing country striving to improve medical care for everybody. But it is still restrained by the large population and the conditions can hardly satisfy the demands of everyone. Seeking proper medical treatment is a headache for the Chinese public, especially for cancer treatment. Medical assistance from top foreign doctors is beyond reach of the majority of people given the huge expense. It is hoped that these foreign forces and agencies can also provide support to a large number of Chinese people, not just one single person.



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