Preview the Course
The man who assisted a generation of Chinese Medicine Practitioners in the West, to tap into the textual sources of our tradition….
In November 2014, Qiology invited world renowned philologist, sinologist, scholar, historian and translator in the field of Chinese Medicine, Professor Paul U. Unschuld, to conduct a multi-seminar series in Sydney, Australia. This was the second time in 30 years that Professor Unschuld had taught within Australia, and most likely his final teaching trip to Australia prior to his retirement in alignment with the completion of Professor Unschuld’s final translation project: The Huang Di Nei Jing Ling Shu.
This was a unique opportunity to learn from the man who inspired so many through his benchmark translations of Classical Chinese Medicine texts. The varied seminar/lecture topics allowed those with interests in particular areas to meet their educational needs, including the sphere of Ethics/Professional Issues.
Those with a keen interest in Chinese Medicine History or Chinese Medicine Classical Texts will benefit from accessing these recordings. Each event was delivered in Professor Unschuld’s insightful and engaging style, which has set him apart as a sought-after presenter across the globe.
“Prof. Unschuld is considered as the most influential authority in Chinese Medicine text translation, ancient and modern. His work has provided inspiration for my Chinese Medicine practice, and enabled myself and other practitioners a depth of understanding that would not be possible for the Chinese Medicine practitioners of the Western world who do not possess his linguistic skills. A must see inspirational seminar series…”
-Mark Phillips, Senior Acupuncturist/Chinese Medicine Practitioner – Sydney, Australia.
About Paul Ulrich Unschuld
Born in 1943 in Lauban, in the Prussian province of Silesia, Germany, Professor Unschuld studied Chinese Language whilst undergoing a degree at the School of Pharmacy at the Munich University. Graduating in 1968 with a keen interest in international relations, Paul and his wife applied for a grant to visit Taiwan to further their Chinese language skills. Whilst in Taiwan, research originally in medical and pharmaceutical fields led to research into traditional Chinese medicines, which further grew into intense research in all aspects of Chinese medicine, and Chinese medical history, leading to Unschuld’s text- Medicine in China: A History of Ideas. Professor Unschuld now holds degrees in Chinese Studies, Pharmacology, public health, and political science from some of the world’s most prestigious universities, and is currently Professor and Director of Horst-Goertz-Institute for the Theory, History and Ethics of Chinese Life Sciences, Charité-Medical University, Berlin.
Unschuld has authored many papers on Chinese medicine and is famous for authoring many texts that are highly regarded in the Chinese medicine field to this day, including many scholarly translations of Classical Chinese Medicine Texts. His latest translation project, completed in 2014 is the Huang Di Nei Jing Ling Shu. A text highly regarded by Chinese Medicine practitioners worldwide.
ABOUT THE COURSE
This Ethics and Professional issues seminar, based on Professor Unschuld’s vast knowledge on political, ethical, and historical viewpoints in Chinese medicine, past and present, and his expertise in public health and political sciences, focuses on two main areas of interest, that may enhance our understanding of our profession in modern times:
Medical Ethics in the history of Chinese Medicine
The clinical practice of health care experts has been documented in Chinese historical sources since the 1st c. BCE. Over the past two millennia, the diversity of health care and therapeutic approaches developed in China resulted in a heterogeneous array of practitioners competing for public confidence. Patients requiring expert medical assistance had a choice of turning to physicians who based their therapies on secular science explanatory models exclusively, or to resort to practitioners relying on religious explanatory models. Still others applied whatever concepts and practices they thought appropriate regardless of their theoretical background.
No standard education or licensing system to cover and regulate medical practice existed in pre-20th century China. Practitioners may have been taught by famous doctors, or within a family tradition. They may have set out to study medical literature on their own, or they were simply impostors who claim to be competent while in fact they meant to cheat their customers. Beginning with the 11th/12th centuries, pharmacists played a dominant role. They hired physicians to see patients on their premises, which resulted in a commercial profit orientation of medical practice largely characterizing the health care system in China to this day.
Confucian political philosophers recognized the value of medicine in general but failed to appreciate the value of professional medical practitioners. They preferred to see every filial son sufficiently versed in health care skills to help parents and other family members when necessary. Physicians practicing medicine for their livelihood contradicted this attitude and voiced their requests for recognition of medical expertise that could result from professional practice only. The interaction between these positions is documented in Chinese sources from the 8th/9th centuries (Tang dynasty) on. The ethical creeds and complaints published over the past 1300 years permit fascinating insights into a social struggle to never lead to a degree of medical professionalism known in Europe and the Western world. Countless further sources offer an insight into the reality of medical ethics. Handwritten manuals of practitioners include advice that for fear of reprisals never appeared in printed literature. Thus, the widespread practice of abortion is not apparent from printed medical literature, and the many techniques applied by itinerant healers to conceive their clients are equally documented in private notebooks only.
This lecture provides an overview of the manifold interest and dynamics in Chinese medical ethics over the past two millennia and invites to reflect on the social position of medicine and professional boundaries, as well as on the limits of profit seeking in medical care in today’s world.
The Integration of Alternative/Complementary Paths of Health Care Into a Modern Health Care Delivery System – The Case of TCM
It is common knowledge that so-called Western medicine, or biomedicine, is not in a position to successfully respond to all challenges of the human disease. It is an equally common knowledge that alternative/complementary ways of health care are to be tolerated, if not supported, in a modern health care delivery system to close the many gaps left by modern biomedicine. Each country has developed its own approach towards permitting a parallel existence of modern biomedical and alternative/complementary approaches. Still, a gold standard may not have been found anywhere. Hence there is a continuing need to discuss the potential and also the problems associated with the creation of an integrated health care delivery system. TCM is an exemplary case in point.
This session is to help attendees recognize the most pertinent issues faced by health care experts and politicians in their attempts at generating a structure that permits patients to consult with whichever diagnostic and therapeutic approach they prefer, and at the same time to allow the government to fulfill its most important political ends, that is, that is to protect its citizens from harm. Such harm may be physical or even mental if practitioners are permitted to conduct therapies they are not qualified for, or it may be financially or otherwise detrimental in that imposters claim abilities and are paid for services that do not hold what they promise. The political ideal of allowing for therapeutic freedom while at the same time protecting the people from harm and fraud is to be discussed here with an eye at TCM. Questions raised will focus on requirements of standard training and licensing vs. freedom of acquisition of expertise, on payment structures by mandatory and voluntary insurance models, on the need to scientifically legitimize diagnosis and therapy vs. permitting all types of approaches, by the scientifically legitimated or not, to be advertised and practiced, and others more.
Who (practitioners & students) will benefit by enrolling for this course?
- Practitioners with a keen interest in the history of ethics in Chinese Medicine
- Practitioners wishing to learn more about the benefits of, and barriers to integration of Chinese Medicine into the modern health care system
- Students who wish to gain a deeper understanding of topics that will shape their future ethical practice and that will shape the future of our profession in general
- Practitioners wishing to complete their yearly Ethics/Professional Issues CPD hours, whist learning from a world-class presenter.