LI YANG Rule of law approach needed to help the sick
The Beijing-based China Institute of Industrial Relations rejected a freshman because he has hemophilia.
The school’s decision is based on an opinion on the physical examination of college students, jointly passed by several ministries in 2003. The student did not disclose his medical condition to the school.
A school can reject students with “serious illnesses of blood, internal secretion and metabolism systems and rheumatic diseases”.
But the file does not clarify what makes an illness serious. The blurry regulation, which sides with the school, is discriminatory against ill students.
Every citizen has an equal right to receive a higher education, which he or she should not be deprived because of illnesses that are not infectious and do not affect other students’ and teachers’ health.
The school’s decision runs counter to the principles and spirit of the college, wrote a columnist in Shanghai.
The school’s main concern is that if a student with a medical condition is involved in an accident, it will face increased pressure to compensate that student.
Chinese colleges need to provide guarantees and services for the sick students, and the Education Ministry needs to amend regulations to urge schools to do so. It also needs to set up a transparent legal channel to solve possible disputes.
There should be some commercial insurance program for the sick students.
At the root of the issue is the lack of government assistance for the needy.
It was reported last week that some villagers in Sichuan province signed a letter to drive away an 8-year-old child with AIDS/HIV.
The United Nations issued a statement calling for protecting the boy’s interests.
But it turned out that the story was concocted by two phony reporters, and the villagers supported the plan, which is to grab the government’s attention to help the boy, who comes from a poor family.
Medical reform in China has gone on for more than 10 years.
After a basic medical care and insurance net is established for all, the government needs to mend its regulations and rules and set up special funds to help the sick, especially in rural areas.