The Story of an Ancient Ruler: Emperor Forbids Canings after Studying a Medical Book
(Clearwisdom.net) Ancient history records that one day Li Shimin, the Taizong Emperor of the Tang Dynasty, was reading a medical book named "Illustrated Mingtang Acupuncture." The book dealt with medical uses of acupuncture and contained illustrations. The Taizong Emperor learned that there were many acupuncture points on a person's back and that each was intimately related to the health of the person's internal organs. Looking at the illustrations, the Taizong Emperor thought that hitting a person's back could potentially harm the internal organs and possibly even kill the person. Therefore, he issued an order that applied to all levels of the criminal interrogation offices that forbid hitting a criminal's back.
Beating a criminal with a cane was a common form of punishment at the time. It was indeed not good if the criminal accidentally died from the beating. The Taizong Emperor was a kind, thoughtful and generous person by nature, who considered the well-being of his subjects in his daily work and reading. He immediately felt uneasy once he read about the acupuncture points in the medical book. The decree he issued must have saved many, many lives due to beatings. According to the records, the Taizong Emperor ruled the country with a kind heart and with leniency, and he was especially discrete using corporal punishment.