Hor­ri­ble hos­pi­tal scan­dal

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - COMMENT - ED­I­TO­RI­ALS

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.

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