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Debating Cancer Treatment

NewsChina, Chinese Edition May 3, 2021

By NewsChina Updated Jul.1

The diagnosis and treatment of cancers have become increasingly precise, which has altered the understanding of this often fatal ill- ness. Patients’ phobia about the disease has largely been alleviated. Many patients are living out their lives with long-term and expensive treatment. The information asymmetry between doctors and cancer patients, coupled with the arbitrariness of treatment methods have recently sparked disputes. Allegations of medical malpractice and professional ethics violations by a Shanghai-based doctor went viral after Dr Zhang Yu, a whistleblower in Beijing, claimed that improper treatment for cancer patients was widespread. An investigation by the National Health Commission later showed there were no seri- ous violations of medical regulations, but this failed to dispel public doubts. Zhang has been urging the need for a public debate with medical experts in front of media. At a time when the demands of medical science are growing, there is an urgent need for an effective and scientific supervision mechanism targeting the practices of medi- cal workers, particularly in the area of cancer treatment.