A Battle For Life (July 1958)
Kontext: According to the world's highest medical authorities, burns extending over 75 per cent of a person's body are regarded as likely to prove fatal. The burns of these two patients were not only extensive but also deep, even involving their muscles in many places. Therefore all the experienced surgeons frowned, shook their heads, and expressed their utter inability to save the lives of these men. One of them said, "It is only a matter of three or four days." Another suggested, "At most three days." Still a third one said, "Whether medicine is used or not is immaterial, for in spite of all efforts the patients will die." Everybody seemed to agree on one conclusion "death." In this way the joint consultation was concluded in a very pessimistic and hopeless atmosphere. On the basis of mortality statistics in international medical literature it seemed that these badly burned patients were doomed to die.
But the Party organization of the hospital would not agree to such a pessimistic view. The secretary of the general Party branch and the assistant secretary of the medical department branch immediately summoned the doctors treating the patients for a talk, and following that a meeting of all the responsible doctors was convened. The problem was analysed from a class viewpoint, and it was stressed that in capitalist countries it was impossible to obtain the full use of all resources to save the lives of burned workers, but that in our socialist country it was possible to mobilize everything available to save them. For this reason we should not always accept the medical statistics of capitalist countries and allow them to influence us. The Party secretary called the attention of the doctors specially to the following points: First, that they must try to rid themselves of their blind reliance on established bourgeois medical experience, and they must try to think, speak and act in bold new ways. Secondly, they must follow the mass line and depend more upon the power of the people. Finally he said, "The Party will do everything possible to save these steel workers who have created vast wealth for the nation."