12-Year-Old Liu Siying: A Telephone Conversation With the Medical Staff at Beijing Jishuitan Hospital
(Renminbao.com) On February 3, 2001, the charred bodies of the so-called self-immolated "Falun Gong practitioners" appeared in vivid detail on CCTV's Focal Point Interview and were viewed by the public in China. Taped lying on the ground and crying for her mother who had set herself on fire ?"Mama, Mama"; the 12-year-old girl Liu Siying made everyone's heart ache. Also heart breaking is the way the Chinese government used this little girl, whose entire body was charred and badly burnt, as a publicity tool. This was an exploitation of human rights according to the ethics and standards of democratic governments. The Jingrong Times pointed out on February 2 that the Chinese government has still barred any foreign media from interviewing this little girl. The reason that they gave was to prevent infections. A reader wrote to Renminbao.com yesterday and said that after seeing the terrible scene of Siying on television, he and his wife wanted to visit her and to donate money for some of her hospital costs. Before they went, they called Beijing Jishuitan Hospital. The followings is a part of their conversation: Reader: Hello, is this Beijing Jishuitan Hospital? Please connect me with the Burn Unit. Operator: There are three wards in the Burn Unit, which one would you like? Reader: Please connect me to the ward of Liu Siying. ... A female medical staff's voice: Are you asking for her current condition? Reader: We would like to ask what Liu Siying's current condition is? Medical staff (MS): Just like what was shown on TV! (No further explanation) Reader: Is she better or worse? MS: She is still like what was shown on TV. Reader: How can we help her? MS: You are just part of the TV audience, how can you help? Reader: We would like to visit her and send her some money. MS: No, you cannot help her. We will pass the message to her. Reader: On TV, we saw her seriously burned hand exposed, and there were so many reporters and other people. I worry that she might become infected. MS: It would not happen. (Immediately asked her next question, somewhat nervous) Are you a medical professional? Reader: No, but I have some medical knowledge. MS: You do not understand. I cannot explain it to you. (She obviously relaxed) Her arm being exposed will not cause an infection. This is normal. We are experienced in the treatment. Reader: How could she sing with a tube in her trachea? MS: Who said that she was singing? (Angrily) Reader: The People's Daily said that she was singing. Even the name of the song was published. (The reader is stunned) MS: ...(silence) I said that you do not know medicine. The purpose of performing surgery on her trachea was to maintain the opening of her airway. It is not for... Anyway, her speech will not be affected. You do not know medicine and you cannot understand. I already told you, this is normal. Reader: Can you estimate how long it will take for Siying to recover? MS: I cannot tell. Her condition can change any minute. Reader: Can we come to the hospital to visit Siying? MS: Absolutely not. Our Burn Unit forbids visitation. Reader: Then we will visit her in her Henan home after she is discharged. Can we talk to her doctor? MS: Do not disturb us any more. Her condition is as same as on TV. MS: What is your name? (Seriously) Reader: I am X. MS: Are you from Beijing or some other province? (Pressing) Reader: I am from another province. MS: Where? Reader: XXX. MS: We completely understand that you care about Liu Siying's condition. But, you should not call us again to interfere with our treatment. (Learning that the reader called from another province, her voice obviously relaxed) MS: What is your name? MS: You do not have to ask. If you want to call back, just call this number. We do not want to talk about this...con (The phone was hung up) This reader really cares about this child, so he then called his doctor friend and asked for general information on burns. According to his friend, it is very difficult to speak with a tracheal tube in place, because one has to cover the tube to speak. However, the tube cannot be covered for long, since it will cause the patient to have difficulty breathing. On TV, the child talked continuously, which confused the doctor a great deal. The People's Daily even reported that the child could sing, which confounded the doctor even more. This stubborn reader also wrote that he wanted to talk to the child's doctor, Li Chi. Here we must advise him: Please forgive that tightly monitored and unlucky doctor. Do not make the matter worse! Footnote: the reader later wrote again and said, after confirmation, this female medical staff member indeed worked at Jishuitan Hospital. Her duty was to answer questions regarding the management of Liu Siying's case. Therefore, calling her should not "interfere with treatment". Brief CV of Liu Siying's doctor: Li Chi, male, born in 1955, Vise Chairman of Burn Unit, Beijing Jishuitan Hospital. Attending physician, Associate Professor, Sectary of Burn Study, China Medical Association, The editor of China Burn Journal. 1976 ?1979, studied in "6.26" University, Beijing Jishuitan Hospital 1985 ?1987, studied in Burn Division, Emergency Hospital affiliate with Birmingham University, UK 1994 ?1995, studied in Surgery Department of Medical Division, Kobe University, Japan.