A photograph showing people looking at numerous currency notes scattered on the floor along with an empty bag of what seems to be a hospital corridor is going viral on social media platforms claiming to show the aftermath of an interaction between a cancer patient and a doctor. Those sharing the image claim that an “angry and frustrated” cancer patient threw the money across the hospital’s corridor after the doctor told her that “her cancer is in the final stage” and beyond help.
The posts further add that after hearing the doctor’s statement, a dejected woman (not visible in the photo) threw the money, shouting “what`s the use of having the money … Money cannot buy health, money to buy time, money cannot buy life.” While some posts claim that the incident took place at a Nigerian hospital, others just say ‘a hospital’. Newschecker found the claim to be untrue.
Several Facebook users shared the viral post.
Old Hoax Resurfaces
This is not the first time that this image has gone viral with the same claim that a frustrated final stage cancer patient dumped the money on the hospital floor. Similar claims can be found on social media platforms since at least 2017.
We noticed some text written at the bottom of the image along with an icon, seemingly of a messaging platform, and used Google Lens to translate the same in English. The text read “Guoyang people”. Notably, Guoyang is a county in China.
Taking a clue, we conducted Google reverse image search on the viral image with the keyword China which led us to a 2014 report by Vietnamese online news outlet VnExpress. Displaying the viral image, the report elaborated on an incident that took place at Harbin Medical University Hospital in China. It stated that a Chinese man “angered” over his girlfriend’s betrayal, “spread” RMB ( Renminbi- the official currency of China) “around the hospital.”
Another Vietnamese website Tinmoi reported on the incident on July 8, 2014. As per the report, the incident happened on July 3 at the hospital affiliated to Harbin Medical University (China.) A man who was angry with his ex-girlfriend threw money at her and “the 100 yuan bills scattered and scattered across the hospital corridor.”
Along with the viral image, the report featured some additional photographs depicting the incident. A closer look at one of those, ascertained that the notes scattered on the floor was Chinese currency.
We can thus conclude that the incident took place in China and not in Nigeria as being widely claimed. Additionally, the image does not depict money thrown by a “frustrated final stage cancer patient,” rather a fallout of a Chinese couple.
But why did the man choose a hospital to avenge the betrayal? What was his ex-girlfriend doing there? We continued our investigation to find out more about the same which led us to a report by Chinese website ETtoday, dated July 5, 2014. The report stated that some netizens claimed to be witnesses, pointing out that the woman (referring to the ex-girlfriend) was a young nurse on duty at the hospital.
Another Chinese website news.qq.com quoted an insider saying that after the incident, the security guards maintained order at the scene, and there was no scrambling for banknotes, and the scene was relatively stable: one of the two quarrels in the incident was a female nurse in the hospital: the incident was a private incident, not the behaviour of the hospital.
Viral image is neither from Nigeria nor does it show money thrown by a “frustrated final stage cancer patient.” The image is from a 2014 incident at a Chinese hospital involving a Chinese man and his ex-girlfriend.
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