From China Digital Space开胸验肺 (kāixiōng yànfèi): thoracotomy
This medical procedure was immortalized in Internet discourse after migrant worker Zhang Haichao underwent the procedure to prove that he had a serious lung disease in 2009. Before the operation, Zhang Haichao had received numerous diagnoses of the lung disease pneumoconiosis. The condition, generally considered an occupational disease, was caused by Zhang’s employment at an abrasive materials factory near Zhengzhou. In order to receive worker’s compensation, Zhang needed to receive a diagnosis from “the legally designated occupational illness hospital” (法定的职业病诊断机构)—an institute that first refused to issue any diagnosis, and only under pressure incorrectly diagnosed Zhang with “tuberculosis.” Zhang spent two years petitioning the government and finally underwent the invasive thoracotomy surgery to prove his condition. After an outpouring of online support, Zhang was awarded 615,000 RMB in workers compensation.
The case garnered much attention for issues concerning workers’ rights in China, as has been documented by China Labour Bulletin.
24 October 2013, by Scott Greene
8 August 2013, by Samuel Wade
29 July 2013, by Scott Greene
17 July 2013, by Sophie Beach
5 July 2013, by Cindy