Uncover the real reason why Cao Cao killed Hua Tuo

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Influenced by the romance of the Three Kingdoms, many historians today also believe that Hua Tuo was not only skillful in medicine, but also noble in medical ethics. He was always concerned about the sufferings of the people all over the world. He refused to serve Quangui and specially saw a doctor for Cao Cao. He left Cao Cao under the pretext that his wife was seriously ill. Cao Cao repeatedly urged him to come back, but he refused. Finally, Cao Cao was angry and killed him.

Is it true that Cao Cao was responsible for the death of Hua Tuo? Did Hua Tuo really have no fault? Mr. xushaojin, a professor of Nanjing audit institute, and Mr. linzhenqing, a teacher of Hebei Pingquan normal school for nationalities, believed that Cao Cao was not entirely responsible for Hua Tuo’s death. The publication of two papers finally solved the real reason why Hua Tuo was killed.

Why did Cao Cao kill Hua Tuo? The interpretation of this in the romance of the Three Kingdoms is deeply rooted in the hearts of the people. In the 78th chapter of the book, Luo Guanzhong describes in detail how Cao Cao killed Hua Tuo.

In order to build the first hall, Cao Cao personally cut down the pear tree in front of the Yuelong temple with his sword. He offended the God of the pear tree. That night, he had a nightmare. After waking up, he had a persistent headache. He asked for a good doctor, but it didn’t work.

Later, Hua Xin recommended Hua Tuo to Cao Cao. Cao Cao immediately sent someone to invite Hua Tuo to see a doctor for him. Hua Tuo believed that Cao Cao’s headache was caused by a stroke. The root of the disease was in his head, which could not be cured by taking some decoction. He needed to drink “Mafei Decoction” (Note: that is, the well-known “mafiesan”, an anesthetic invented by Hua Tuo), and then cut open his head with a sharp axe to take out “wind saliva”, so as to remove the root of the disease.

The suspicious Cao Cao thought that Hua Tuo wanted to take the opportunity to kill him and avenge Guan Yu, so he ordered his left and right sides to put Hua Tuo in prison and torture him. As a result, a generation of miracle doctors succumbed to death in prison, and Hua Tuo’s “green bag book” was lost.

Hua Tuo was originally a “Scholar”, his life goal was to become an official, and his medical career was just a “hobby”.

In ancient Chinese society, “all things are inferior, only reading is high” and “learning is good is official” are the creeds of many scholars. During the Eastern Han Dynasty, when Hua Tuo lived, the upsurge of studying and becoming an official in the society had reached its climax. Most of the Gongqing were people who were familiar with Confucian classics. During the reign of Emperor Shun of the Han Dynasty, there were as many as 30000 students. Studying Confucian classics became a social trend. Although medical technology was needed by emperors and people, it was despised by scholar bureaucrats. Doctors’ social status was not high. There were many examples of famous doctors abandoning medicine to engage in politics. This kind of social fashion could not but affect Hua Tuo.

According to the records in the annals of the Three Kingdoms, the book of Wei, and the biography of Fangji, Hua Tuo was a scholar who “learned the sutras as well” in Xuzhou when he was young. According to xushaojin’s article, like most scholars at that time, Hua Tuo’s goal in life was to become an official, and his “hobby” was to become a doctor.

However, the book also records that Chen Yu, the Prime Minister of Pei state, recommended Hua Tuo as a filial and honest man, and Huang Wan, the Taiwei, recruited him as an official, but he did not go. Why is this?

Linzhenqing pointed out in his article that there may be two reasons for this: first, Hua Tuo was very talented and conceited. He thought that the official positions recommended by Chen Yu and Huang Wan were not big enough and refused to do so. Second, he has been infatuated with medicine and is unwilling to abandon his favorite medicine for this petty official.

After embarking on the path of medicine, Hua Tuo was deeply ashamed, often regretted, and always waited for the opportunity to become an official.

Chen Shou, the author of the annals of the Three Kingdoms, wrote in the biography of local techniques that “although he was a scholar, he used medicine to see his career, and often regretted his own intentions”, which broke Hua Tuo’s mentality after he embarked on the path of medicine. In the process of practicing medicine, Hua Tuo deeply felt the low status of doctors. His medical skills are excellent and his fame is growing. More and more senior officials and dignitaries come to see him. In the process of contact with these high-ranking officials and dignitaries, Hua Tuo’s sense of loss became more intense, his character became grumpy, and it was difficult to get along with others. Therefore, Fan Ye said bluntly in the book of the later Han Dynasty: biographies of the alchemy that he was “evil for human nature and difficult to be proud of”. While regretting and blaming himself, he was waiting for the opportunity to become an official again.

Taking advantage of the opportunity to cure Cao Cao, he threatened twice with the intention of obtaining an official.

Cao Cao asked Hua Tuo to treat his persistent head wind. Hua Tuo pricked the Yan Yu acupoint with a needle, and the effect was very good. The records of the annals of the Three Kingdoms said, “Tuo’s needle was bad at hand.” Later, with the increasingly busy government and military affairs, Cao Cao’s “head wind” disease became worse, so he wanted Hua Tuo to specially treat his “head wind” disease. Hua Tuo said, “it is difficult to solve this problem. If we continue to do things, we can prolong the years.” It means that your disease is difficult to be completely cured in the short term, and even if it is treated in the long term, it can only be prolonged. Is Cao Cao really so ill?

According to people in the field of traditional Chinese medicine, the “head wind” disease is indeed stubborn. Under the ancient medical conditions, it is really difficult to cure it completely. Although Hua Tuo is a miracle doctor, he may not have a good cure. However, if we say that even if “constant affairs are attacked and managed”, we can only prolong the years, and the time of death is approaching, it would be alarmist. Obviously, there are elements of coercion.

In the article, linzhenqing believed that Hua Tuo wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to cure Cao Cao and use medical skills as a means to coerce Cao Cao into giving him an official title. Cao Cao later said, “Tuo can heal this. The villain wants to raise my health with self-respect.” this means that Hua Tuo can cure this disease. He treats me, and wants to raise his value. This shows that Cao Cao understood the implication of Hua Tuo’s words at that time. But he did not immediately meet Hua Tuo’s request.

So Hua Tuo took the excuse that he had received a letter from his family and wanted to go home for a few days. When he got home, he pleaded that his wife was ill and had not returned. He threatened Cao Cao again. In accordance with the law of the Han Dynasty, Cao Cao sentenced Hua Tuo to death for the “crime of cheating” and “the crime of not obeying conscription”. Hua Tuo pleaded guilty and was executed.

According to records in the annals of the Three Kingdoms, after Hua Tuo returned home, Cao Cao wrote many letters urging him to return, and ordered county officials to send him back, but Hua Tuo refused to return.

Cao Cao was so angry that he sent people to check it out. If Hua Tuo’s wife was really ill, he would give him 40 Hu Xiaodou and relax the time limit; If Hua Tuo lies, he will be arrested and escorted back. So Hua Tuo was handed over to Xu county prison. After trial, he pleaded guilty. Xun Yu interceded with Cao Cao on behalf of Hua Tuo. Cao Cao ignored him and executed Hua Tuo.

Did Cao Cao kill Hua Tuo on impulse? Is there any legal basis for sentencing Hua Tuo to death?

Cao Cao was a well-known politician at that time. He was famous for “acting according to the king’s law” in history. Cao Cao took the Han law as the basic criterion in his administration of politics, military affairs, and even his family and children. Xushaojin pointed out in his article that Hua Tuo committed two crimes according to the law of the Han Dynasty: one was the crime of deception, the other was the crime of refusing to enlist. Mainly the latter. There is a crime of “great disrespect” in the law of the Han Dynasty, and those who commit the crime of “losing rites and abolishing Festivals” will be severely punished. The book of Han, Shentu Jia biography, contains cases of people who “know little ministers, play in the temple, be irreverent, and be beheaded”. There are many specific contents of “great disrespect”, among which “no great disrespect can be called up” is applicable to the crimes committed by Hua Tuo.

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