Netizens outraged after medical students blamed for failing to save man’s life

By Huang Lanlan Source: Global Times Published: 2020/8/25 0:31:56

Screenshot from the video

Chinese netizens displayed their anger on social media on Sunday against those who blamed two medical students for failing to save a stranger’s life despite their best attempts. 

On Weibo, numerous online users criticized the “blamers” and instead showed support for the two future medical professionals, calling for the public to respect all medical personnel and promote a harmonious doctor-patient relationship.

Peng Jieting, one of the two medical students involved in the ordeal, said she does not feel hurt by the online comments. “We just did what we [as medical students] should do,” she told the Global Times on Monday.

Peng and her classmate, Chen Jiali, tried to rescue an unconscious man, who was lying at a railway station in Central China’s Hunan Province, on August 14 before the ambulance arrived.

Unfortunately, their cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation attempts, although performed correctly and professionally, weren’t able to save the life of the patient, who also suffered from underlying diseases, the Sichuan Daily reported on Monday.

In a video that has since gone viral on Weibo with over 30 million views, Peng and Chen were shown kneeling on the ground beside the man trying to rescue him. They shed tears when the man died despite their best efforts, the clip showed.

While most of the people that watched the video online appreciated Peng and Chen’s efforts, a few netizens criticized the pair for failing to save the man, and even suggested the man’s family should take them to court. 

The deceased man’s family members addressed the rumors on Sunday, saying they were very grateful for the attempts to save the man’s life. “You’ve done your best,” they said to Peng and Chen before bowing to them via video call, Knews reported.

Peng and Chen are medical postgraduates of Chengdu University of TCM with three years of clinical experience, said Peng’s tutor Duan Junguo, head of the university's Eye School and Teaching Ineye Hospital. They are also qualified for the life-saving rescue methods they used that day, Duan said.

Duan’s academy awarded the two students a prize to recognize their efforts in the spirit of actively rescuing strangers in need. “We named the prize ‘da yi jing cheng,’ a term originally from renowned ancient Chinese medical expert Sun Simiao, which means ‘a good doctor/nurse must have both great medical skills and ethics,’” Duan told the Global Times on Monday, adding that ethics are actually more valuable than skills for medical personnel.

Duan also suggested the public should learn first-aid skills and grasp basic rescue methods for possible emergencies.

The Ministry of Education and Red Cross Society of China is planning to include first-aid knowledge, especially CPR, into medical education content for the country’s teenage students, Xinhua News Agency reported on Monday.

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