In about 20 days, Taiwan's fate in the World Health Assembly (WHA) will be revealed. Rumors have been flying around that this is the year that Taiwan, one of the most medically advanced countries in the world, will be accepted as an observer at the World Health Organization's (WHO) annual two-week pow wow in Geneva. In exhange for this microbe morsel of international participation, Taiwan is ready to handover its sovereignty over to China.
If you ask me, this is the most ridiculous, illogical and backward arrangement. Its like a high school boy begging a quack doctor, "please help me get rid of this one pimple , in return I'd be happy to give up my heart, liver, and pancreas."
Sure, historically China has been the number one roadblock in Taiwan's bid for the WHO, I agree. But for me, I place 99% of the blame on the WHO member-states. The abscense of moral courage and the lack of medical ethics of the member-states is the very reason why China has been allowed to bully Taiwan for decades. The WHO member-states have singlehandedly destroyed the democratic set-up of the organization by bowing to ONE member.
As the foremost international health watchdog, the WHO aims to protect the health of all, regardless of region, color, ethnicity, age or gender. This goal sounds perfectly humanitarian and even worthy of praise.
However, while it is true that the WHO has done a great amount of good and deserves to be applauded for its efforts to eradicate diseases, it is also true that the WHO is systematically putting people in harm's way by excluding Taiwan for 50 years.
What has Taiwan done to deserve being shut out by the WHO? Has the nation violated any international health code or committed a despicable crime to deserve such disregard?
In the eyes of the WHO, Taiwan's crime is that it has become one of the world's most successful emerging democracies, one that promotes the freedom of the press, speech, media and religion.
The irony is astounding -- the nation's hard-won democracy is the very reason why it is not accepted into a democratically organized group.
Democracy is the only obstacle preventing Taiwan from winning the support of other democratic nations in its bid to join the WHO.
Sadly, the day that Taiwan waves a white flag and surrenders to China will be the day it receives the protection it deserves from the WHO, the UN and many other international organizations that meekly submit to Beijing's "one China" fantasy.
The paradox of the situation directly mocks the principles of democracy. Why should democratic Taiwanese be forced into accepting a communist system just to gain protection from contagion? Does the "H" in WHO stand for "health" or "hypocrite?"
By using the "one China" policy as a justification to refuse Taiwan's application to become part of the WHO, the majority of the WHO member states are in fact demanding that Taiwanese give up their freedom in exchange for health security.
The last time I checked, health security was one of the most basic human rights, not an elite privilege reserved for the members of an esoteric fraternity.
Part of the Hippocratic oath for doctors is to "never to do deliberate harm to anyone for anyone else's interest." A violation of this vow can, and often does, result in the suspension of a medical practitioner's license to practice.
If this oath applied to the WHO -- and it should -- then WHO Director-General Margaret Chan (陳馮富珍) should be immediately banned from all hospitals and clinics and health ministers from more than 165 countries should also be chastised for serving China's political interests by ignoring Taiwan's rights to health.
The WHO should revise its constitution and state that the organization protects the health rights of all people, except if they are a freedom loving individual who happens to hold a passport with the word "Taiwan" on its green cover.
That way, the WHO would at least be telling the truth, however ugly and discriminatory it may be.