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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Heated debate over baby left to die by parents

Sulaiman Kamal | 5:49 AM | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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The plight of a baby suffering from a serious liver condition, who was left to die, has led to heated debate in China.
Concerned public have argued if parents have the right to make life or death decisions for their children.
He Shunzhi, a nine-month-old boy, is lying weakly in a bed surrounded by medical equipment at Shanghai Children's Medical Center.

Suffering from congenital biliary atresia at birth, the baby will not live for long.
In April, his parents - both farmers from Sichuan province - took the baby to Shanghai for treatment but the expensive medical fees put the couple off. They removed the boy from hospitals.
Volunteers have promised to collect money to cover the cost of treatment.
But the couple refused, saying they feared the father might lose his physical ability to do farm work after donating his liver to his son.
"The money should be donated to other needy kids," said the 36-year-old father, He Xingyun.

The baby was re-admitted to hospital last week when the mother was found holding him outside the medical centre under the scorching sun.
Three months without treatment had worsened the baby's condition and he was suffering from severe bacterial infection. His abdomen is turgid and he is in pain whenever he takes a breath.
It is too late now to cure the baby, although the father has changed his mind.
This tragic episode sparked heated discussions, with some people accusing the couple of "attempted murder".
"From the legal perspective, parents only have the obligation to raise and educate their children. There is no obligation to donate organs," said Jiao Hongchang of the University of Political Science and Law.
The public needs to make a rational distinction between moral condemnation and legal enforcement, he said.
After a liver transplant, there could be follow-up problems that might result in the family facing a 'double tragedy', Jiang added.

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