In April 1841, medical missionary Reverend Peter Parker, M.D., addressed an enthusiastic audience gathered at a special meeting of the Boston Medical Association. His subject was "the condition and prospects of the hospitals of China." He described his own work at the hospital he had established in the foreign factory district outside the city walls of Canton where he offered free treatment for both rich and poor. At P’u Ai I Yuan (Hospital of Universal Love, as it was known in Chinese) Parker and his colleagues used western surgical techniques as a means to facilitate religious conversion. Medicine, Parker believed, could be the "handmaid of religious truth," and he held regular religious services for his patients.
While he had, at best, modest success attracting converts to Christianity, the hospital had fostered tremendous goodwill among the Chinese. It was a bright spot amid the gloomy period of Western-Chinese tension that led to the outbreak of the Opium Wars between Great Britain and China. Forced to flee Canton because of these rising hostilities, Parker returned to the United States to raise money and interest in his operations. In the spring of 1841, he spoke to many religious societies, a few medical bodies, and even the United States Congress, where he preached to members of the House and Senate and lobbied legislators on the need for diplomatic relations with China.
In his talks, Parker described the state of medical and surgical knowledge--or, rather, scientific ignorance--in China. Despite the surgical feats of legendary ancient doctors such as Hua T’o of the third century A.D., surgery did not develop to any great extent in China. Some accounts attribute this to Confucian precepts about the integrity of the body and proscriptions against any form of mutilation or dismemberment; others emphasize the pharmacological tendencies within traditional Chinese medicine and a preference for moxas and other caustic plasters.
Whatever the cause, it was undoubtedly the case that Parker’s surgical practice tapped into a huge unmet need. Almost as soon as he opened his Ophthalmic Hospital in Canton, as it was known in English, he acquired a reputation as a surgeon of such skill that the hospital quickly became a general hospital. Parker and his small staff handled thousands of cases each year, treating more than fifty thousand cases by the 1850s. His hospital became the model for other medical missions, and Parker and his British colleagues formed the Medical Missionary Society of China to coordinate the efforts of all the western hospitals springing up in the trading ports of Asia. Parker earned his reputation performing operations to remove tumors and cataracts--forms of surgery with relatively good odds of success and ones that could be accomplished quickly, important in an era without anesthetics. Because of the absence of surgery in China, a large number of patients were afflicted with mature tumors (typically five to thirty-five years old) of a size seldom seen in Europe or the United States. Parker was able to help these patients in ways previously thought impossible in China. He has thus been credited with bringing Western medicine to the most populous country on Earth
1. The author mentions Hua T’o in the third paragraph most probably in order to
< underscore the need for modernization of nineteenth century Chinese medicine
< trace the history of important figures in Chinese medicine
< call attention to the lack of leading physicians in nineteenth century China
< celebrate the historical achievements of Chinese physicians
< defend Chinese medicine against unfair criticism
2. According to the passage, all of the following are true of Peter Parker EXCEPT
< He was skilled as a surgeon.
< He believed that the poor deserved quality medical treatment.
< He felt disdain for the medical practices of nineteenth century China.
< He lobbied intensely to bring Western medical knowledge to China.
< He did not achieve his missionary goals in China.
3. The primary purpose of the passage is to
< discuss the status of the medical profession in China before the arrival of Peter Parker
< argue that China could not have gained modern medical knowledge without the influence of Peter Parker
< demonstrate the need in China before the nineteenth century for outside medical knowledge
< challenge the predominant view of nineteenth century Chinese medicine
< examine the circumstances of the introduction of Western medicine to nineteenth century China