(Clearwisdom.net) I have some old friends who often mentioned their relatives and their medical practice.

The grandfather of a friend was a well-known doctor. Bandits often came to the village where he lived. When they passed through the village in the night, the crops in the village would be looted.

One day, the bandits' leader was injured and came to see this esteemed doctor. Before healing his injuries, the grandfather insisted that the bandit promise not to rob the village again. Soon the bandits' leader was cured. Since then they would take a detour around the village, or if they occasionally passed through the village, they would leave some grain at the doctor's front door. The leader of the bandits always remembered that the doctor saved his life.

In the past, patients would feel grateful to the doctors who had cured them. They often brought something when they came to visit, just like they did when they visited their relatives. Even a bandit would do so, not to mention normal people.

It is quite different from today's modern society. I stayed in a local doctor's home after I came to the United States. He was a skillful and older doctor. Almost all the people at the age of 30 or below in that town had been delivered by him. His practice in recent years, became more laborious. Even for a disease that was so apparent and could be determined by a glance, he would require the patient to take various tests. He transfers all the money he earns to his wife and children in the event that one of patients would sue him. One of his friends is an excellent doctor and yet had been sued by patients repeatedly that year, which made my friend spend each day with great caution and stress.

In this modern society, the relationship between doctors and patients has become very much like a business. The patient buys a treatment. If not satisfied, he can find various excuses to find fault with the doctor. The doctor asks the patient to do various tests. With the test results the doctor will have the evidence to base the treatments and prescriptions on, and thus will have a way to protect himself. For the patient, medical care becomes more and more expensive. For the doctor, the insurance becomes more and more costly. Everyone is cautiously watching each other. The relationship is tense and adversarial, forming a bad cycle. As a result the cost of medical care has become a big burden on society.

In fact the encounter between a doctor and a patient is from a predestined relationship. It is not an accident for a patient to meet a doctor. In the book of Many Lives, Many Teachers based on the clinical records of a psychologist, a story is told that a patient regressed back to her previous life and found the doctor in this life was her teacher in her previous life.

As one progresses in life, he will incur and repay karma. The relationship among people is based on karma, as in the one between the doctor and the patient. The doctor cures a patient. He may accumulate de [virtue] or repay karma for some kind of debt in his previous life. If the doctor does something wrong such as pulling a wrong tooth, botching an operation, or asking an unreasonably high price, he will receive karma and have to pay it back later. To the patient, the hardships are to repay karma. Suffering physically or mentally or paying the medical bill is all to repay his karma. After the repayment, one can become healthy and life can be smooth again.

Whether a person is doctor or patient, everyone is responsible for his own life. Everything one has done is recorded as accumulating virtue or karma, which will be carried from lifetime to lifetime. The ancient people knew this principle. Do good deeds to accumulate virtue; repay a debt of gratitude. The behaviors of the modern people generate too much karma. If a person continues doing harmful things without regard for virtue, his life will soon be in danger.