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Healing in Medicine: Norman Bethune

The True Spirit of Therapeutic in Drugs: Norman Bethune


Henry Norman Bethune was a Canadian doctor who became well-known for his selfless service of individuals in the Second Sino-Japanese Warfare. His service endeared him to Mao Zedong, who hailed him as a communist and supporter of the Chinese people's attempts for liberation. Even today, Bethune's level of popularity in China stands undisputed along with his statues present all over the country. There is absolutely no question that Bethune experienced in him the real spirit of curing, a unique spirit, because doctors often understand their professions as scientific pursuits or even money making endeavors. That is illustrated in the manner in which pharmaceutical companies and doctors work together to achieve revenue and market prominence by providing medicines. Bethune's dedication to his job was illustrated in the manner where he served on earth Warfare I and the Spanish Civil Battle before his stint in the Sino-Japanese Conflict, in spite of his wide open contention that wars were meant to make revenue (Shepherd and Lvesque 147). He was known consistently state that "the private monetary earnings" (Clarkson 40; Stewart and Stewart 317; Wilson 75) should have no place in medicine. Furthermore, he was also a skillful inventor, who designed and modified several surgical tools, including the portable blood transfusion system he developed in the Spanish Civil Warfare (Stewart and Stewart 92, 95). Moreover, many of his inventions continue to be used today (Stewart and Stewart 92, 95). It is also notable that while Bethune passionately and dedicatedly adhered to his professional ideals, he also acquired clear politics ideologies. In the Spanish Civil Warfare, he sided with the democratic republic and through the Second Sino-Japanese Warfare, he sided with the rural inhabitants in China and accepted communism instead of Imperialism. However, today he is heralded in China for his communist ethoses, which were completely different from the communism that was used in China under Mao Zedong. This newspaper contends that Bethune was not simply a doctor by vocation but also a healer at heart who formed political ideals according to the welfare of mankind, and therefore, his image as a communist leader in and outside China might be slightly misconstrued.


Bethune's ideology behind journeying completely to China in 1938 also to serve people in the Sino-Japanese Warfare was to assist the suffering and the indegent there. This is consistent with his efforts in his life thus far, that is, in World Conflict I and the Spanish Civil Battle. He also completed crisis surgical treatments on the casualties in the battle as well as instituted training for medical staff for the same (Stewart and Stewart 32). He also refused to take care of the casualties by considering their race, culture, political area, or even the side in the conflict (Stewart and Stewart 32). Obviously, he was dedicated to the reason for portion his patients, irrespective of the public conditions. As a doctor, he treated the people who were suffering and unwell. He was also thought in the communist ideologies, that is, the ones that have been propounded by Marx and was a member of the Canadian Communist Party (Stewart and Stewart 124). This was in spite of the fact that in those days, it was unlawful to be a part of the communist party in Canada (Stewart and Stewart 124). However, this was naturally because of the issues between what would end up being the allied and axis power on the globe War II. Actually, most people in Canada associated communism with Stalinist and Nazi plans of control (Stewart and Stewart 371). Furthermore, the United States' staunch anti-communist plans will need to have also influenced the Canadian guidelines. However, in Bethune's beliefs, the indegent, proletariats, who had been subjugated under capitalism or were the casualties in conflict, should be side he helps. As a result, he became a part of the communist get together in Canada, because he assumed in Marxist philosophies, which communists guaranteed to practice. Obviously, his political ideology was founded in his determination to his professional and moral ideal of portion the hurting and the fragile.

When Mao Zedong welcomed Bethune as a communist comrade, he was impressed with Bethune's dedication to the communist ideals. Bethune illustrated his ideals along with his determination to his occupation and by providing in the frontlines in the conflict. As mentioned before, this was not different from the manner where he offered in World War I and the Spanish Civil War. However, Mao interpreted Bethune's work and ideologies as his devotion to the communist cause and the cause of people. It must be remembered that under Mao's rule, there was no development of the proletariats and the Chinese language overall economy collapsed as all the adding participants to the economy, such as, doctors, owners of establishments, and lawyers were banished off their jobs to serve in the rural areas. In such conditions, the entire suffering, health problems, and pain experienced by the Chinese individuals were probably worse if much less bad just as Imperial China. Although Bethune perished in China of blood vessels poisoning, while offering in the Second Sino-Japanese Conflict, he was, nevertheless, unaware of the real ethos of the make of communism that would be practiced by Mao. Considering his ideals, he'd have probably never wanted to be a part of this kind of communism. In the long run, Bethune was a guy who wished to serve the people and not have a political ideal, where personal and income goals were in focus. Today, it could be said that communism and democracy have both failed in the capability to separate the income making techniques from the public offering ones. Given these facts, Bethune would have probably sought to be always a part of a more humanitarian politics ideology.

Notably, Bethune's legacy rests on the fact that Mao posted an article on him-In the Memory of Norman Bethune in 1939-for unselfishly serving in the Second Sino-Japanese Conflict. This essay was considered essential reading in Chinese language classes then and even today, students are required to know about this article. Indeed, the philosophy of the article is in tune with Bethune's philosophies. Consider the following excerpt from the article:

We Chinese Communists must follow this range inside our practice. We must unite with the proletariat of all the capitalist countries, with the proletariat of Japan, Britain, the United States, Germany, Italy and all other capitalist countries, for this is the only way to overthrow imperialism, to liberate our region and people and liberate the other countries and peoples of the world (Tse-tung)

Clearly, Bethune could have been glad to be associated with such ideologies. He indicated his views on his occupation by proclaiming that, "medicine, even as are practising it, is an extravagance trade" (Allan and Gordon 130). He further abhorred the utilization of monetary leads to practicing remedies and presumed individualism, which is usually associated with democracy rather than with communism, as the reason for such circumstances of affairs (Allan and Gordon 130). However, Bethune passed on prior to the Chinese language Cultural Trend of the 1960s started. This was a time when an incredible number of Chinese died because communism experienced turned to totalitarianism (Yan and Gao 2). The death toll in the Chinese language Cultural Revolution has not been released by the Chinese language government until time frame (Yan and Gao 2). However, this is a time when individuals were ruthlessly massacred by governmental encouragement of mobs and by approved attacks on civilian populations by military services workers (Yan and Gao 2). Additionally, the anti-democracy stand Bethune presented could have probably been shaken if he had lived to see the shock the planet felt when the fact Hitler completed genocides in Germany was publicly known and recognized after World Warfare II. However, since he never lived to see such occasions, and thoroughly thought communism to be anti-exploitation, he stood because of it while practicing his medical ideologies.

It can be recalled that Bethune was nearly unidentified in Canada well after he passed away. Canadians and the rest of the Western world didn't find out about him until 1952, when Ted Allan and Sydney Gordon released their publication, The Scalpel, the Sword: THE STORYPLOT of Doctor Norman Bethune (a new version is talked about in the works cited portion of this newspaper). However, regrettably, they hailed him as a communist hero in this reserve. However, the timing could not have been worse, because in this Freezing War era, anti-communist feelings thrived in Canada (Stewart and Stewart 327). Thus, Bethune's efforts to technology and his altruism were well forgotten until much later. Only before few generations, especially since China has cautiously opened up its entry doors to the western world for trade has Bethune's talents and work been acknowledged. Today it is well known that Bethune was among the original advocates of socialized treatments, which is within high demand in Canada and in the rest of western world-the Obamacare regulations next door are possibly the best examples of this. Bethune also shaped the Montreal Group for the Security of People's Health (Stewart and Stewart 371), which established the necessity for socialized treatments. Bethune in addition has frequented the Soviet Union to understand and find out about socialized treatments (Stewart and Stewart 122). Such endeavors eased his way in to the politics ideology that was communism and therefore, he became an integral part of the Communist Party of Canada. Within the most unbeknownst manner, he became a part of a politics thought that defied the altruism important to his ideologies.


This newspaper illustrated the way in which where Bethune contributed toward the development of medicine and struggled to treat the wounded and the sick as a health care provider. Undeniably, he endeavoured to achieve his professional idealism through his research and treatment as with shown by his inventions. In the same way, as became alert to the public and economic characteristics of disease, he adopted a politics thought that he thought looked after the proletariats and the fighting as he did. However, he was not up to date about the nature of such communism or to of democracy. As time exhibited, both were with the capacity of exploitation, and in simple fact, communism allowed totalitarianism-a theory that Bethune would have definitely abhorred considering his ideologies. It can be thus concluded from the facts presented in this paper that Bethune was indeed an ardent doctor, who truly adhered by the Hippocratic Oath as well as formed politics ideals keeping the welfare of humanity at heart. However, his image as a communist head in and outside China has been misconstrued over time, since he passed on well before the harms of communism were experienced by the earth.

Work Cited

Allan, Ted and Sydney Gordon. THE STORYLINE of Doctor Norman Bethune. Dundurn Press: Dundurn. 2009. Printing.

Clarkson, Adrienne. Remarkable Canadians: Norman Bethune. Toronto: Penguin Canada. 2009. Print out.

Stewart, Roderick and Stewart, Sharon. Phoenix: The Life of Norman Bethune. Toronto: McGill-Queen's Press.

Shephard, David A. E, and Andree Levesque. Norman Bethune: His Times and His Legacy. Ottawa, Ontario: Publicized by the Canadian Public Health Association, 1982. Print.

Tse-tung, Mao. In Storage of Norman Bethune. 1939. Web. Utilized on Apr 15, 2015 from https://www. marxists. org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-2/mswv2_25. htm.

Wilson, John. Norman Bethune. Dundurn: Dundurn Press. 1999. Printing.

Yan, Jiaqi, and Gao Gao. Turbulent 10 years: A History of the Cultural Revolution. Honolulu: Univ. of Hawai'i Press, 1996. Print out.

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