Home>Service> Global Love of Lives Award> 7th Fervent Global Love of Lives Award> Supporter of terminal cancer patients-Li Chih-Ching
Get close to illness; live with cancer.
      Born 1957 in Taipei, Li Chih-Ching graduated from National Ocean University, Department of Aquaculture and Food Science in 1981. After four and a half years of work-study program, he passed the entrance examination and got the highest score entering the post-bachelor program of Medical Science Department in National Yang Ming University. In 1990, he graduated from Department of Medical Science in National Yang Ming University with outstanding academic achievement; at the same time he passed advanced examination for public physician, got the medical license and joined the group of medical practitioners.

      Working as a hospital doctor for terminal patients in Taipei City Chunghsiao Hospital, he takes the lead and participates in four aspects of hospice and palliative care for terminal patients including the entire team, process, holistic, and family. He even moved into the neighborhood and spent most of his time at hospital with patients. Whenever patients have emergencies, he is always the first to come to the scene. Because he treats patients like his relatives, cheerful and harmonious doctor-patient relationship is therefore established; thus, people give him a nickname ““SEVEN-ELEVEN (7-11), the good neighbor doctor”.

      In National Ocean University, Dr. Li became an important member in students’ association and served successively as the person in charge of BoAi CiYou and classes’ association. He had first-hand experiences of using three minds (enthusiasm, love, confidence) and three powers (staying-power, physical power, brainpower) to help people “excel in desperation and re-kindle fire of hope”. Especially, in the eve of graduation from National Ocean University, he was absent from the thank-you dinner party which he planed for graduating class because of gas-poisoning when he was taking a bath. He was rescued and sent to hospital by another classmate who also helped planning the dinner party. 

      After three days and nights in coma, he was saved eventually; at that moment, he was determined to become a doctor who saves lives. After graduating from National Ocean University and 4years of work-study program, he passed the entrance examination and got the highest score entering the post-bachelor program of Medical Science Department in National Yang Ming University. In 1990, he graduated the first in his class from Department of Medical Science in National Yang Ming University; at the same time he passed advanced examination for public physician, got the medical license and joined the group of medical practitioners. The most unusual and commendable quality of him is that he chose to be a doctor for terminal patients among all medical graduates who mostly selected the popular medical practice such as dermatology. 

      Before Dr. Li worked as a doctor for terminal patients, he was once the chief physician in gastrointestinal department. On one of the working afternoon, he examined three patients for colonoscopy; three were tested the terminal stage of colon cancer. Seeing the anxious and panic looks of three patients, he felt awful. In order to comfort them and keep them company on the journey to death, he switched to hospice and palliative care unit and joined the doctors for terminal patients. He thinks terminal cancer unit is a like an expedition in life. Many stories of life and death happen in there; many sentiment and hostility also conclude in there. According to medical statistics worldwide, every one of us has one quarter of chance getting cancer. Everyone is equal in front of cancer. No matter how much power or money you have, Death would look for you the same way it looks for everyone else. 

      People are afraid of the process before death including illness, pain, separation, loss. Human dies; and love would last forever. We need to examine and respect the perspectives of life and death of the person who are involved so as to help them achieve “good death” and “no regret after death”. Hospice and palliative care is “to live peacefully and happily” and not euthanasia. Patients are the leading characters while family members have the supporting roles. Medical team members play insignificant roles; so, a doctor for terminal ill should do what the leading character wants to do, help the relatives to finish the last performance of terminal ill patients in life. 

      The most important lesson in life is to learn how to unconditionally love people and be loved. Once there is love, everything in life becomes tolerable. The greatest help from doctors is to become patients’ friend. Doctors should treat patients as if they were relatives. Hospice and palliative care focuses on the entire family, process, team and holistic care. The service is as comfortable as home and patients’ right is definitely respected. The mother of hospice and palliative care, Dr. Saunders, indicated “you are the most important factor because you are yourself. Even till the last minute, you are still that important! We will do everything possible to help you go through this; and we also will do everything to let you live till the last minute.” Every terminal ill patient is our best teacher, but it takes great courage to listen to what they have to say. 

      He is thankful that an American doctor, Kubler-Ross, speaks for many doctors that “I think the modern medical science has changed. Doctors are trying to play a powerful and knowledgeable role. It is irresponsible to offer patients a life with no pain. I know there is one thing that can cure physical pain and mental distress; that is selfless love.” Dedicated to selfless love, Dr. Li chose hospice and palliative care which require love and patience. He spends day and night with terminal ill patients to do everything possible and submits to the will of God. He has a lifelong lesson of “life and death”.