Case Number 82

  • Asaf Goldschmidt
Part of the Archimedes book series (ARIM, volume 54)


This case, which is one of the longest in the collection, provides us with a vivid description of a medical encounter and the social dynamics that structured it. It shows that the learned physician’s status was similar to that of other doctors, and that the final decision lay in the hands of the patient’s family. Several members of the patient’s household, who considered themselves knowledgeable, invited a handful of physicians to examine him. Xu reports that each suggested a different diagnosis and treatment for the patient. The members of the patient’s family could not agree about which therapist was right and insisted on their own opinions about diagnosis and treatment. To settle the impasse, they invited Xu, who first inquired about the patient’s urination and then palpated his pulse. His announcement of his diagnosis and treatment triggered yet another round of heated discussions. Finally, Xu announced he would leave if they did not plan to apply his treatment, forcing them to make a decision.


Other Sources:

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Asaf Goldschmidt
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of East Asian StudiesTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  2. 2.Visiting ProfessorRenmin University of ChinaBeijingChina

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