'Magical doctor' sentenced to 15 years

Updated: 2014-11-20 07:44

By Qi Xin and Wang Xiaodong(China Daily)

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A so-called "magical doctor" in Henan province who acquired numerous followers for his unconventional treatment methods was sentenced to 15 years on Wednesday for illegally practicing medicine after his actions caused the death of a college student.

Hu Wanlin, 65, who has no doctor's certification and who has never received medical training at a school, rose to prominence in China in the 1990s after he was portrayed by some publications as a magic doctor who could cure diseases such as cancer.

Hu was sentenced just three years after being released in December 2011 following an 11-year sentence for the same crime. He was arrested in 1999 after the deaths of several people who received his treatments, including Liu Famin, the former mayor of Luohe.

As part of Wednesday's verdict at the Luoyang Intermediate People's Court, Hu was also ordered to pay a fine of 200,000 yuan ($32,000).

Three other people accused of the same offense received punishments ranging from fines to 11 years in prison for working with Hu to organize medical training and treatment classes.

Under the Criminal Law, a person who practices medicine without a doctor's certification, and whose actions result in serious consequences, has committed a crime punishable by more than 10 years' imprisonment.

After his release in 2011, Hu instructed Lyu Wei to open an account on Sina Weibo to promote his treatment methods on the Internet, according to a statement released by the court.

Lyu claimed Hu's treatment methods had miraculous effects in treating diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, HIV/AIDS and cancers, according to the statement.

In August 2013, Lyu and Tang Mengjun and He Guizhi organized a training class attended by about a dozen people suffering from diseases or who were obsessed by traditional Chinese medicine, including 22-year-old college student Yun Xuyang.

Hu promoted his methods to the class and treated them with "five-taste soup" at two hotels in Luoyang and Xin'an county, the statement said. Following Hu's instructions, the members drank the soup, which consisted of coffee, sugar, salt, soybean sauce and vinegar. Then they drank water in large amounts until their stomachs were full and they vomited. They were instructed to drink large amounts of water again and vomit repeatedly. Hu told them the technique can help get rid of viruses in the body, the court said.

Many members of the class reacted badly to the treatment, and Yun, the student, suffered convulsions and went into a coma. Yun died on Aug 31 of dehydration and respiratory failure, the statement said.