To be wrongly put into an asylum has been a staple of horror fiction, but this nightmare actually happened to a woman in Xiamen. Mrs. Wu, who originally went to her hospital to cure her high blood prolactin (PRL) was identified as “mentally challenged” and forced into an asylum for 22 days, according to Netease.
Mrs. Wu first went to cure her PRL at No.1 Xiamen Hospital in September 2003. A month later, she wanted out, something her doctors refused to agree to. Out of frustration, she got into a big fight with the medical staff, even calling one of the nurses a bitch. The hospital reacted by deciding she had psychosis and transferring her to Xianyue Asylum immediately.
Her husband heard the news and rushed to the hospital. At first he refused to sign the doctor’s notice to put his wife into the mental asylum, but when the doctors threatened to force him to pay for any medical equipment Mrs. Wu might have broken during their fight, he gave in.
In the asylum, medical staff treated Mrs. Wu with antipsychotics, hormones and even tied her up and poured medicine into her nose if she refused to take it. She was finally released 22 days later due to her husband’s persistent pleading on her behalf. However, when she got out she lost her job because people thought she was truly mentally challenged.
Mrs. Wu has been fighting a legal battle with both hospitals over their wrong medical decisions for the last six years. Today, she finally won her case, proving herself psychologically sound and winning 50,000RMB for emotional and financial losses.
We are concerned for Mrs. Wu’s future but are even more concerned about the medical environment in China. While we had heard of political prisoners being put in asylums against their will, we didn’t know disagreements with medical staff could equal mental illness too. Will anyone dare to question doctors after this?