Chinese doctor on suspended death penalty for selling babies

Shauxia admits she abducted seven infants from hospital to sell human traffickers

Chinese doctor on suspended death penalty for selling babies

A Chinese gynecologist has been given a suspended death sentence in China's North West for abducting newborn babies and selling them to human traffickers.

Zhang Shuxia admitted to having sold seven infants in the last two years, six of those were saved but one baby girl died last April after being sold for 165 US dollars. She delivered babies at a hospital in Shaanxi province's Fuping county. The 55-year-old doctor has been deprived of all her assets and political rights by a public court, and claimed she will not appeal the court's decision.

Her sentence has been delayed for two years. Suspended death sentences normally lead to life imprisonment in China. Zhang reportedly told the families of the babies the newborns had serious "health problems" before kidnapping them from hospital. The court said she used her position as medical personnel to fabricate reports about the infants, saying they suffered from birth defects or diseases that were hard to cure.The obstretrician was arrested last year after a suspicious parent reported her to authorities.

Police said they are still investigating 50 related cases, including 26 linked to Zhang, and several other suspects are in criminal detention. So far five local officials have been sacked in the county, including the director of the county's health department and the head of the hospital where the children were born.

Parents in China are sometimes willing to give up their children due to the country’s restrictive one-child policy. The Chinese government has taken steps to combat the problem, including tightening adoption rules and starting a crackdown on child trafficking rings. Beijing recently said it will allow millions of families to have two children, the most radical relaxation of its one-child policy in close to three decades.

The new rules, which will roll out gradually around China, will allow couples in which just one parent is an only child to have a second baby, part of a plan to raise fertility rates and ease the financial burden of China's rapidly ageing population.

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Last Mod: 14 Ocak 2014, 14:25
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