Does Falun Gong prohibit taking medicine? Absolutely not. No such language appears in Falun Gong’s teachings. Falun Gong’s teachings explain the relationship between one’s karma and illness, and indicate that having a healthy body is a person’s natural state and one that is in harmony with the universe. While the practice does teach that suffering created by illness helps to remove negative elements from one’s body, the teachings also clearly state that hospitals and medicine are indeed effective and that it’s each individual’s choice whether or not to see a doctor and take medicine. In terms of how this actually is manifested, some practitioners go to hospitals and take medicine more frequently (especially in terms of pregnancies, broken bones, and life-threatening conditions), and others make use of hospitals and medicine less or not at all. There are no set rules prohibiting this, but rather a system of teachings that each individual can apply based on his or her understanding. Central to Falun Gong is making one’s own decisions. Are lives endangered, as the Chinese government propaganda asserts? There have been no studies conducted to support this. On the contrary, informal health studies of Falun Gong practitioners concluded that 99 percent of practitioners experienced marked improvement or total recovery of their ailments after beginning the practice. Falun Gong adherents report health benefits from the practice and exercises as a major reason for practicing. Practitioners, including those who are medical doctors, have reported being cured of life-threatening illnesses such as cancer. As a basis for persecution, Chinese communist propaganda often uses a figure of 1,400 Falun Gong practitioners who died because they refused medical treatment. These figures have never been verified by a source outside China’s state-media. Furthermore, Falun Gong is practiced in over 70 countries, but there have been no reports of lives being endangered. The true source of danger for Falun Gong practitioners is torture at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.