A Chinese ‘doctor’ named Hu Wanlin, imprisoned in 1999 for illegally practising medicine, was arrested again recently after a 23-year-old college graduate died after drinking a poisonous herbal soup the ex-prisoner prescribed during a “medical seminar” in Henan province, Beijing News reported on Thursday.
An autopsy of the victim, avid acupuncture practitioner Yun Xuyang described by his family as a staunch believer in Chinese medicine, showed he had consumed liquid containing highly-toxic sodium sulphate (the sodium salt of sulfuric acid) before his death. Hu, 64, was subsequently charged with “practicing medicine illegally,” according to police in Luoyang.
Yun, who had been running a successful acupuncture clinic and was eager to hone his skills, was contacted by Hu’s students in August and asked to participate in the medical seminar, the Beijing News reported.
Yun was told Hu could “treat all sorts of illnesses”, and could cure cancer “in a matter of days”.
Yun, however, lapsed into a coma after drinking Hu’s herbal soup as part of a “detox treatment” and later died. Patients were supposed to vomit and “discharge” the toxins in their body as part of the procedure, according to Hu.
Hu and his associates were arrested on October 1 on charges of “practising medicine illegally,” but Yun’s relatives argued he be charged with “homicide”, since he was familiar with the hazards of consuming sodium sulphate.
The article is comprehensive and the relatives are correct, this was more than irresponsible and should be charged as such. The piece also notes that this is another black mark on the practice of TCM which is being disputed within the country. But poorer areas do not have access to modern medicine so pre-scientific TCM is popular there. Honestly, it might be better to have NO treatment. This stuff is worse than nothing at all.