Wo­man hurt dur­ing il­le­gal egg-re­trieval; 2 jailed

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By WANG XIAODONG wangx­i­aodong@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

Two em­ploy­ees of an agency that ar­ranged for sur­ro­gate preg­nan­cies in Guang­dong prov­ince were sen­tenced to prison af­ter a wo­man was in­jured by an il­le­gal egg-re­trieval pro­ce­dure.

The case marked the first time in the prov­ince that em­ploy­ees of such an agency have been held crim­i­nally li­able. Sur­ro­gacy is banned in China.

Health au­thor­i­ties have been fight­ing the prac­tice to en­sure peo­ple have ac­cess to safe, reg­u­lated and ef­fec­tive as­sisted re­pro­duc­tive tech­nolo­gies, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Health and Fam­ily Plan­ning Com­mis­sion.

The em­ploy­ees, who were iden­ti­fied only by their sur­names — Deng and Lai — worked at Beier Qiyuan Tech­nol­ogy Co. They were sen­tenced to one year and 10 months re­spec­tively by a court in Guangzhou and or­dered to pay fines of 5,000 yuan ($740) and 3,000 yuan for il­le­gally prac­tic­ing medicine.

The sen­tences were handed down in April, but the provin­cial Health and Fam­ily Plan­ning Com­mis­sion only pro­vided de­tails of the case on Mon­day.

Deng was ac­cused of ar­rang­ing for a wo­man sur- named Liang, 18, to have her eggs re­trieved at a clinic on Oct 6. Liang be­came ac­quainted with Deng and Lai in June last year through a friend and agreed to sell her eggs for 15,000 yuan, ac­cord­ing to the com­mis­sion.

For more than 10 days be­fore the surgery, Deng and Lai ac­com­pa­nied Liang for phys­i­cal check­ups and to re­ceive drugs that fa­cil­i­tate ovu­la­tion, the com­mis­sion said.

Liang felt se­ri­ous dis­com­fort and fell into a state of shock on Oct 9. She was sent to Nan­fang Hos­pi­tal, a large pub­lic hos­pi­tal in Guangzhou, for treat­ment. Ju­di­cial au­thor­i­ties cer­ti­fied that she had a dam­aged ovary and needed surgery.

Deng and Lai were de­tained on Oct 27 af­ter a po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Sur­ro­gacy is usu­ally prac­ticed in se­cret, and those in­volved, in­clud­ing agents, clin­ics and the sur­ro­gate mothers, are lo­cated in dif­fer­ent places in a highly or­ga­nized net­work, ac­cord­ing to the com­mis­sion, which said that the au­thor­i­ties should im­prove their co­op­er­a­tion in fight­ing the prac­tice.

With the adop­tion of the uni­ver­sal sec­ond-child pol­icy, the num­ber of women who find it dif­fi­cult to con­ceive nat­u­rally and need as­sisted re­pro­duc­tive tech­nolo­gies is in­creas­ing, ac­cord­ing to hos- pitals and doc­tors.

Wang Aim­ing, a pro­fes­sor of as­sisted re­pro­duc­tive medicine at Navy Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal in Bei­jing, said sur­ro­gacy can bring se­ri­ous health risks, and even death, to sur­ro­gate mothers, and le­gal­iz­ing the prac­tice may re­sult in un­eth­i­cal be­hav­ior, such as sur­ro­gacy for money.

“Sur­ro­gacy is in great de­mand in China. For ex­am­ple, women made in­fer­tile from re­peated abor­tions, and women who suf­fer se­ri­ous heart dis­ease, may need sur­ro­gacy,” she said.

“Be­cause it is il­le­gal here, many cou­ples go abroad,” she said. “Even then, many don’t suc­ceed, even af­ter spend­ing a lot of money.”

Wang sug­gested al­low­ing sur­ro­gacy in a few cer­ti­fied med­i­cal in­sti­tutes in China to meet de­mand while pre­vent­ing risks like dan­ger­ous med­i­cal prac­tices.

Sur­ro­gacy is in great de­mand in China. ... Be­cause it is il­le­gal here, many cou­ples go abroad. Even then, many don’t suc­ceed, even af­ter spend­ing a lot of money.” Wang Aim­ing, pro­fes­sor at Navy Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal in Bei­jing

CAO BOYUAN / FOR CHINA DAILY

Nine cou­ples re­ceive their wed­ding cer­tifi­cates at a group cer­e­mony in Bei­jing’s Chaoyang district on Tues­day. All the grooms are ac­tive sol­diers. The cer­e­mony took place ahead of Army Day, which falls on Aug 1.

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