Archive for March 5th, 2002

[2002-03-05] 吴向军 对于翻译事件的回忆

Posted by woodinwind on March 5, 2002



作者:啄木鸟11 回复日期:2006-2-12 16:57:22

送交者: wuxj 于 March 05, 2002 22:16:14:

I was the roommate of Bei Zhicheng and Cai Quanqing in Beida. I witnessed the whole thing and was among the numerous people who provided help. I remembered the names of Xin Li and Dr. Aldis. Li’s website in UCLA is extremely organized and contains most of the information. All the facts in Yuan’s long article were pretty much accurate except his/her imagination about the relationship between the two daughters’ tragedy of Zhu’s family was never confirmed.

There are quite a few things that are significant in this event: Internet, telemedicine, medical accident due to the ego of doctor(s) in PUMC, murder, struggle of a devastated family, etc. In fact, the publicity of this event made Internet a household name in the early 1995. I know many people in China who first heard of Internet from this story. People from all over the country sent letters to Bei and Cai asking for medical help year after this event. However here I’d like to make some comments from a different point of view.
[ 相约加拿大:枫下论坛 rolia.net/forum ]
The courage and perseverance of Bei when facing challenges and confronting authorities. In China, no too many people have the guts to consistently question the opinion of authorities like PUMC with little medical knowledge. Getting help from Internet was easy comparing to the battles later on fought with PUMC. Bei showed sound judgment and spirit of independence. Although he didn’t finish school due to his own choice, I admire him as a true Beidaer in this regard.

The help from numerous people. Bei was Zhu’s classmate in high school and they hadn’t been in contact for years by them. Cai at that time was playing around in Prof Chen Yaosong’s lab as a Sophomore student. He provided the idea of Internet news groups and all that. 10 people lived in our room at that time. We were all astonished by Bei’s description of Zhu’s symptom after his visit to PUMC. Almost all of us were helping in this case. We sat in front of the dummy terminals in the lab downloading the responses from the Internet with a connection of 100bytes per second even in the midnight (that was early 1995) and analyzed those letters in the dorm. With several thousand responses, the analysis itself was quite a job. I was really moved by the kind of helping spirit in my room, in the lab and, needlessly to say, on the Internet. Prof Chen even gave us several hundred RMB to have a decent meal. What a nice guy! However, Zhu Ling’s friends and classmates in Tsinghua never contacted us to provide help. I remember I went to Tsinghua asking for help from her fellow classmates in one weekend when we were really short of hands. Nobody showed even a slice of interest. On the contrary, they showed clear distance from this. That kind of coldness hurt us so much. We never contacted them again. Thallium was all over Zhu Ling’s drinking glass (as I remembered) in her room. She was clearly poisoned by people close to her. The prime suspect was her classmate although never convicted. I still wonder how her roommates and classmates could live with that! This kind of feeling grew stronger over time as I understand more and more about humans. I am not really into the debate over the superiority between Tsinghua and Beida. But I have no doubt that Bedaers, not Peking University, in a sense, will always be the conscience of China.

Seven years has passed. Now I am sitting in front of my computer in an office in the Silicon Valley. I have changed a lot. However, I wonder whether the result would be different should this case happen again in China today. If some day somebody wants to make a movie or write a book about this, I would like the book or movie to be about the nature of human beings, not just about Internet, a murder case, or a medical accident.


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[2002-03-05] 新语丝读者对朱令中毒案的评论

Posted by woodinwind on March 5, 2002










Hi, I helped to coordinate the diagnosis and coordinated the treatment
processes for Zhu Ling in 1996 when I was a graduate student at UCLA.
I want to share what I know to answer some of the questions posted at
this site.

1. ZHU Ling’s nickname is Lingling.

2. About the suspect girl, some of us pervaded the US Embassy in
Beijing to stop her from coming to USA. Some of us even tried to use
US media to make some influence. However, there is no hard evidence,
on the other hand, we were afraid that the suspect family backed by
some Beijing officials might accuse the US media of manipulating
politically which would do no good for Zhu Ling’s care. We know her
name and we know where the case was stopped. It was such a hard
decision made together with her family not to pursue that way. But
that does not mean we give up on it. If Zhu Ling’s family changed the
decision, we will certainly do something. No doubt about that.

3. Here is what the PUMC(协和) did wrong:
Dr. Li at PUMC did GUESS it could be thallium-poisoning. I use GUESS
here instead of “diagnosed”, because a diagnosis must be backed by a
test. Her symptom reminded him a poisoning-poisoning case in Tsinghua
Univ. 30 years ago. Not being a poisoning specialist, Dr.Li sent the
case to Beijing Inst. of Labor Hygiene & Occupational Diseases. The
vice chair of the institute, based on ZHU Ling’s word that she had
never contacted Thallium before, concluded that it was not a Thallium
poisoning. No test was asked to support that GUESS. Prof. Chen who
conducted the correct test later was working in the institute but he
was not contacted for help. Prof.Chen was contacted by ZHU Ling family
You see here, PUMC did nothing wrong at first place and Dr.Li did
right thing to refer the case to a specialist. It was the vice chair
in the Occupational Institute that made a conclusion without a test.
However, Dr.Li and his colleagues who took care of the case together,
TRUSTED the vice chair’s result without demanding a solid test result.
As the primary care provider for the patient, PUMC was responsible to
make scientific judgement based upon specialist consultation to make
proper case management. PUMC failed to do that.
Second thing that PUMC did wrong was to refuse to consider the
Internet suggestions. ZHU Ling’s family brought the Internet diagnosis
of Thallium collected by BEI Zhicheng (ZHU Ling’s friend) and others,
but PUMC refused to consider it. When I called the ICU about treatment,
they refuse to talk to me initially. Dr.Aldids had to use his
diplomatic efforts to deliver some message to PUMC. His warm efforts
often met the cold door. During those days, many of the people
involved were trying every effort simply to convince PUMC.
It might be true that PUMC later bright ZHU Ling better care than
other hospitals could. But PUMC’s initial arrogance and ignorance
significantly delayed the diagnosis and treatment. The longer the delay,
the more the poison damaged ZHU Ling neurologically.
4. As a side talk, medicine in China is often based upon experience
but here in US it is also science. This is because doctors in US
usually have bachelor degree in science and also because the strict
legal system.

Xin Li

For details, check the web site at UCLA:
http://www.radsci.ucla.edu/telemed/zhuling/. Since I came to Silicon
Valley, I have not updated the site.

I was involved in the internet diagnosis

I was involved from very early on and called many doctors
in the states many times. I was working at a hospital at that
Actually, it is so easy to diagnose, doctors predict it to be
Ta poisoning and it has been found in murder case before. One
forensic doctor predicted that there must be someone behind the
it. Unforunately, Doctors at PUMC did not take action quick
enough and do not even believe that it was the case. It was later
proved to be true but no one was arrested for it.
Her sister was a student of Beijing University. After I went to
Beida in later 80s, her story was told to us. But it was told
that she fell off accidentally while on field trip. Only’
after her sister’s case, people got suspecious about her
mysterious death, because no witness seemed to know if no
foul play was involved.
I got very suspecious over her family’s history. Rumor had it
that her family had vicious enemy, maybe from the 70s and would
not let her family go. But I do not know if it is true.
I communicated with her mom several times on the internet. A reporter
from Italy called my lab and talked to me for a while and published
something there, but I did not see the article. Then
another chinese student from UCLA got involved with his boss because
they were doing remote diagnosis project. He was on TV shows in the
LA area later. I was too busy and eventually let go.

It was such a tradgy. I felt horrible and got scared about
the whole thing. Someone lurked out there!


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