Saturday, March 5, 2011

Dead girl in the street

This chinaSMACK article brought about this little post.
I live in China now. In a city where they let people die in the street sometimes. Why? Read on.
I’ll never forget the girl I saw dying in the street. She lay prostrate in the middle of the road, beside a mangled bike and in front of a car with a smashed windshield. There was no ambulance, no police, traffic just slowly edged around body as she lay with open eyes and blood pooling beneath her head.
You could say that’s Chinese culture to only care about your own, but it isn’t the same in Hong Kong or Taiwan. So that tells me it isn’t Chinese culture to let someone die in the street, just the local laws shaping the society.
I live in Liaoning province and I’ve been told by several people–both foreigners and Chinese–that if you call the ambulance, you will be held responsible for all medical bills if the injured person can’t pay. Why would you help anyone with rules like that? (Or maybe it isn’t true?)
Especially when you consider hospitals will simply stop treating you for curable cancer if you run out of money to pay for treatment–which is how my friend’s Aunt died–why risk spending your money to save someone else’s life when it could cost your own?

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