Medical Abuse Issue Exposed as McDonald's Ad Pulled

Medical Abuse Issue Exposed as McDonald's Ad Pulled
Photo Credit:Reuters/達志影像

Compiled and translated by Chang Shin-wei

A controversial Taiwan McDonald’s commercial has been taken down from YouTube after backlash from the medical community.

In the video, a woman is seen going through labor pains in a hospital, while her husband yells at the nurses and doctors. The husband films the whole process with his smartphone. After showing the video to his friend, the husband chooses to buy a cup of coffee for the doctor with "sorry" written on it. The husband apologizes with the coffee, saying that he was a first-time father and was anxious because his wife was suffering.

While the commercial was intended to reflect a warm atmosphere, it has triggered mostly negative public responses, including from the medical community.


Liu Yu-chih, a well-known Taiwanese doctor, wrote an article saying the commercial may encourage similar behaviors in hospitals. He says that emotion is no excuse for verbal abuse, and the apology is not an adequate response. In addition, Liu says forcing the doctor to accept the apology is another form of abuse.

Lai I-ching, general-secretary of Taiwan Medical Alliance for Labor Justice and Patient Safety (TMAL), also points out that the commercial conveys inappropriate values, in which people can abuse medical staff as they wish to.

Lai says, the commercial could have been used to illustrated tough working conditions medical staff face, and the families of the patients could have encouraged them through buying the staff coffee. However, the commercial demonstrated the nightmare many medical employees face. It also implies that the anger verbal attacks trigger is supposed to be consoled with a "cheap apology." [Quote translated]

TVBS reports, although some people reportedly recognized the protagonist's “bravery” – in correcting his mistake and apologizing – most reactions to the commercial have been negative.

The Taiwan Medical Association released a statement demanding an apology from McDonald's. It says the commercial demonstrates wrong interaction between doctors and patients.

McDonald’s reportedly says it did not mean to promote verbal attacks against medical staff and has removed the video. More than 70 comments were left on the McDonald's Facebook page, condemning the commercial and demanding an apology from the company.

Edited by Edward White




Taiwan Medical Association