• 폰트크기작게
  • 폰트크기크게
  • TTS
  • 단어장
  • 기사스크립
  • SNS
2017-11-24 17:22
In a divided Korea _ the capitalist South and “communist” North, even parasites can be politically charged. The case in point is a dispute between Lee Cook-jong, the trauma surgeon at Ajou University Hospital, and Rep. Kim Jong-dae of the minor Justice Party, once a pro-North Korea party. The issue is over a briefing by Dr. Lee, who was treating a defector who suffered multiple gunshot wounds during his daring dash out of the North in the truce village of Panmunjeom.

Kim attacked Lee for an act of “terrorism against human rights,” taking issue over his news briefing in which he disclosed the soldier’s intestines were filled with parasites and uncooked corn kernels.

Lee countered that he had revealed all there was, believing that the soldier was in critical condition and no contingency could be ruled out.

Now, public opinion has overwhelmingly backed Lee, the hero who saved the Korean captain of a freighter shot by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden in 2011. Kim was bombarded by an ideological backlash for trying to cover up or dilute what is wrong with the North and maintaining his pro-North Korean stance. Kim and his party backed down and apologized. Once again, the majority has prevailed and everybody except for the lawmaker should be happy. Or should we? Then, here is a minority opinion, judged at least by the tenor of online postings.

Kim went overboard when he called the surgeon a “terrorist” and there can be no excuse for the mistake. But there are enough grounds to say that Lee disclosed more information about the patient than the medical protocol under the doctor-patient privilege would allow.

Lee’s expertise in dealing with gunshot wounds in a country where guns are strictly controlled saved the defector but the way he described the contents of his intestines left room for misunderstanding _ making listeners think that it was part of a briefing on the result of an autopsy or a veterinarian’s daring act in saving the life of an animal. He also sounded extremely cold when he called the soldier’s intestinal infection a medical rarity.

The brouhaha could have been avoided if. Lee were coached on how to talk to the press or the hospital arranged for somebody else to do the explaining. By doing so, Lee would have devoted himself to caring for his patient without distractions.

More fundamentally, the case should have been about the simple question of whether Lee had observed the confidentiality protocols as Rep. Kim had argued. But the ideological identity politics has taken over, morphing the question into the ultimate one of patriotism _ “Are you pro-North Korean?” Rep. Kim said no and claimed he was taken out of context. Our society has again lost a precious chance to overcome the case of ideological color blindness that forces it to see everything through a black and white lens of truism. If it is a parasite, a pill or two could solve it.


  • 폰트크기작게
  • 폰트크기크게
  • TTS
  • 단어장
  • 기사스크립
  • SNS