Wednesday, May 9, 2007

WHO, the World “Hypocrite” Organization?

As the premier international health watchdog, the World Health Organization aims to protect the health of all people regardless of region, color, race, age, or gender. The statement sounds perfectly humanitarian and even worthy of praise.

However, while it is true that the WHO has done much good and deserves to be applauded for its efforts in eradicating many diseases from the world, it is also true that the WHO is systematically putting people in harm’s way.

Such as in the case of Taiwan, an island country of 23 million that has been completely alienated from the health body for the last 50 years.

What has Taiwan done to be shut out by the WHO? Has Taiwan violated any international health code or committed a despicable crime to deserve such alienation?

The answer is yes: by becoming one of the most successful emerging democracies that promotes the freedom of press, speech, media, and religion on the island and in the world. In the eyes of WHO and its mother organization the United Nations, defending Taiwan’s democracy is far less important than catering to the interests of communist China.

The irony is astounding. Taiwan’s hard won democracy is the very reason why it is not embraced by a democratically organized group. Democracy is the only obstacle preventing Taiwan from winning supports from other democratic nations.

Sadly, the day that Taiwan waves its white flag to Communist China, is the day it will receive the protection it deserves from the WHO, the UN, and many other international organizations that subordinate themselves to the so-called “One-China” policy.

The paradox of the situation is a direct mockery to principle of democracy. Why should a group of democratically-minded people be coerced into communism in order to be protected from harmful contagions? It really makes one wonder does the “H” in WHO really means “health” or rather… “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 simply demanding the Taiwanese citizens to give up their freedom in exchange of health security.

The last time I checked, health security is one of the most basic human rights, not an elite privilege reserved for members of an esoteric fraternity.

Part of the Hippocratic Oath for medical 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 applies to the WHO-and it should- then the WHO Director-General Margaret Chan should be immediately banned from all hospitals and clinics. Health ministers from over 165 countries should also be chastised for serving the political interests of China by ignoring Taiwan’s rights to health.

The WHO should revised its constitution and state that the organization protects the health rights of all people, except if you are a freedom loving individual who happens to hold a passport with the word “Taiwan” written on its green cover.

That way, the WHO will at least be telling the truth, however ugly and discriminatory it may be.

Jenny Hsu
Taipei, Taiwan

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