Case Number 39
This case provides another viewpoint on the complicated medical scene in Song China. Xu was walking down an alley when he looked into the courtyard of a house and saw a sad and worried person who happened to be the father of the patient. Xu politely asked about the reason for the distress. It turned out that another physician had proposed treatment but the father was unsure and thus was hesitating. This exemplifies once again that the medical encounter regularly took place in the patient’s home and that the patient’s family had to approve the physician’s diagnosis and treatment before proceeding. The case continued with Xu examining the patient and treating him. We may well wonder why the father would trust someone passing by over the physician he hired to begin with? It is likely that he knew Xu; speaking to a stranger in a house one passes was not normal unless Xu knew him. If that was not the case, we must credit Xu’s techniques of persuasion.
- Scheid, Volker, Dan Bensky, Andrew Ellis, and Randall Barolet. 2009. Chinese Herbal Medicine: Formulas and Strategies. Seattle: Eastland Press.Google Scholar