Sunday, November 8, 2009

"Xiao's Procedure" Questioned in China

The good doctor Xiao Chuanguo is in the news again, but this time it was all good for him. For the first time in years, a magazine in China reported that his famed "Xiao's Procedure" might not be what it was previously claimed to be.

The Science News (科学新闻) published an article titled "Who Can Evaluate Xiao Chuanguo?" on October 27. It reported that several families of the patients who had received Xiao's treatment a couple of years ago are now suing their hospital for false claims. A hospital in Henan Province had claimed that the success rate of the procedure is 85%. Yet these families could not find a single successful case within their ranks. Many patients are suffering from serious side effects from the operations.

The report also carried more damaging information. Through interviews to a few other doctors involved in the initial evaluation of Dr. Xiao's procedure, it revealed that none of them are qualified to provide a real, technical evaluation. They practically rubber-stamped on the decision based on the name-recognition of Xiao's adviser, Xiao's self-claimed fame abroad, and Xiao's self-claimed success rate alone. The magazine pointed out that there is so far no third-party study on the success rate.

The fact that Xiao Chuanguo had repeated sued Fang Zhouzi in court also played an important role. The magazine cited an unnamed surgeon from a Beijing hospital as saying that "there won't be a single expert who is willing to comment" Xiao's work. Everyone is scared of Xiao's bullying conduct. As if to underscore this point, the article listed two experts who had refused to be interviewed for this story.

After a period of staying low-profile, it is likely that the dispute surrounding the so called "Xiao's Procedure" will be heating up again in China.

No comments: