Horrible hospital scandal

Updated: 2013-08-05 07:03

(China Daily)

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The claim sounds like fiction, but it is real, and, if it proves to be true, it goes far beyond the bottom line of our sense of morals and ethics.

A mother has accused an obstetrician at the obstetrical and gynecological hospital in Fuping county of Northwest China's Shaanxi province of selling her newborn baby to infant traffickers.

She claims the couple was told that their baby had been born with a congenital disease and deformity and was persuaded to give up the child, and that the doctor sold the baby to a group of criminals engaged in the business of selling babies.

Fortunately, the baby has already been retrieved, the doctor and two other people are being detained on suspicion of infant trafficking.

Seven other residents have since reported to the police about losing their newborn babies in the hospital in a similar fashion. Further investigation is needed to find out if their claims are true and, if so, to find out what happened to their babies.

The probe should be broad enough to find out whether the claims are true and if so how long the doctor has been in collaboration with criminals, whether other doctors are involved, and how such a horrible thing could happen right under the nose of the hospital management.

Transparency is needed throughout the entire process, so that if there are any bad apples they can be identified and brought to trial.

Transparency is necessary, not to satisfy people's curiosity, but because it has much to do with the building of the image and credibility of medical workers in the minds' eye of the general public.

An isolated case though this is, the claims have established a connection between a profession that people used to hold in esteem and one of the most horrible and detested crimes - abducting and selling babies.

The reports of doctors getting kickbacks for prescribing certain brands of medicines has already tarnished their image. This case may further undermine people's confidence in doctors and thus further erode the trust between doctors and their patients.

Bringing all the bad apples in this case to justice will not just serve as a warning to all the medical workers. It will also show that there is zero tolerance for crimes of this kind.

(China Daily USA 08/05/2013 page11)

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