Case Number 68
This case exemplifies a debate between physicians, each trying to persuade members of the patient’s family to choose their diagnosis and plan of treatment; their livelihoods depended on it. The debate is central to this case record. Xu begins by listing the patient’s symptoms, followed by his competitor’s diagnosis of a Cold Damage disorder, which shows familiarity with the topic. Xu does not specify that he examined the patient, but rather confronts the other physician, asking him how he concluded that this was a Yang Brightness disorder. This becomes a debate between two erudite physicians, both versed in the Treatise. The other physician quotes from the Treatise three passages to back his diagnosis. This is not the first time that one of Xu’s peers quotes the Treatise, but never so extensively. In reply, Xu provides his analysis of Yang Brightness manifestation type, to which the other physician could not reply, signaling defeat. Xu then provides a diagnosis and a prognosis, forecasting when the disease will become most severe. The patient’s family was not yet convinced. Only when the disease took a turn for the worse, as Xu predicted, did they summon him again and ask him to proceed.
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