Take Virtue Seriously and Let Go of Past Resentments
No matter what career one has or what industry one works in, one should take virtue seriously and respect the related ethical behaviors. That is how things should be in human society because taking virtue seriously and building up virtue is fundamental for a human being. Therefore, a teacher should follow teachers' ethics, a businessperson should follow business ethics, a doctor should follow medical ethics, a politician should follow his/her appropriate code of ethics, a martial artist should follow the virtue of martial arts, and so on. The following is a story of how the renowned doctor Wan Quan in the Ming Dynasty followed medical ethics and let go of hatred against others.
Wan Quan, courtesy name Quanren, art name Mizhai, was a famous doctor in the Ming Dynasty. He was born on the eleventh year of Hongzhi (1498 AD) in present-day Luotian County in Hubei Province. Not only was he highly skilled in medicine, but he also followed a high medical ethic. He was caring and forgiving. When those who previously had conflicts with him were sick, he tried his best to cure their diseases, treating them as he would as any other patient.
Wan Quan had a conflict with his fellow townsman, Hu Yuanxi, when he was young. Hu's four-year-old son later developed a rare illness, coughing up blood. Over a period of eight months, Hu tried many doctors, but none of them could cure his son. Hu had no choice but to ask Wan for help.
Following the principles of saving others and letting go of past hatreds and issues, Wan started diagnosing Hu’s son right away. After his diagnosis, Wan told Hu that he could cure his son's disease, but it would take a month. After five doses of Wan's medicine, the son's condition improved.
However, Hu Yuanxi was wary of their past conflict and thought that Wan might not be trying his best to help his son. The one month treatment was too long and that it was proof of Wan’s insincerity, so he switched to another doctor, Wan Shao.
Some people talked to Wan Quan and said, "Since Hu does not want you to treat his son, you should just leave him alone and not be bothered." Wan Quan replied, "He has only this one son. No one but I can cure his illness. If I leave, Hu will not come to me for help again and then his son will be in danger. If his son dies, even though I did not kill him, I am still at fault." Wan Quan added, "I need to stay here to see how the other doctors treat him. If they treat him properly, I will leave. But if they are doing something wrong, I will try my best to stop them. If I cannot stop them, then I will leave."
When Wan Quan saw Wan Shao's prescription, he knew it was not correct for the boy, who might be in danger if he took it, so he pointed this out sincerely. However, Wan Shao refused to listen and insisted that his prescription was correct. Wan Quan told Wan Shao in all seriousness, "I am not jealous of you. I am just concerned for the boy."
Seeing that nobody would take his advice, Wan Quan decided to leave. But he was still very concerned about the boy. Before his departure, he touched the boy's head softly and said, "Take a small dose of the new medicine first. It’s sad to wonder about what to do when the disease relapses?"
After taking a small cup of the medicine, the boy's symptoms returned even worse than before, exactly as Wan Quan had predicted. The boy cried, "Mr. Wan Quan's medicine was better. The new doctor is trying to poison me."
Hu Yuanxi was very regretful and went to ask Wan Quan for his help again. Wan Quan did not let Hu's previous treatment and attitude disturb him. He told Hu, "If you had listened to me earlier, this would not have happened. Now if you really want me to treat your son, you need to trust me completely. Please give me a month and I will take care of him."
Hu Yuanxi gave his son to Wan Quan's care. It took only 17 days for the boy to completely recover. Hu's family was very grateful to Wan Quan.