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Pregnant woman commits suicide after being denied a C-section – China’s latest society and culture news

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summary of the top news in Chinese society and culture for September 5, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina newsletter, a convenient package of China’s business, political, and cultural news delivered to your inbox for free. Subscribe here.
2 weeks ago
Jiayun Feng

“Ladies, please remember to bring your parents to the hospital when giving birth. Even though you think you are part of your husband’s family when you marry him, your father- and mother-in-law are very unlikely to treat you as their real daughter. You’ll be surprised to find out how selfish they are.”

“The husband is a liar. From the hospital’s perspective, there is no reason not to allow the lady to have a C-section, given that it usually can charge more from a cesarean birth than a vaginal birth.”

These are two typical reactions among a flood of social media comments (in Chinese) regarding the heartbreaking story of a heavily pregnant woman who jumped to her death from the fifth floor of a hospital building, where she was giving birth, after her husband’s family refused to allow her to have a C-section.

According to (in Chinese) China Business News, the 26-year-old woman, surnamed Ma, was sent to the maternity ward of a hospital in Shaanxi Province last Thursday with a 41-week pregnancy. “After initial diagnosis, we found that the fetal head was very large. In this case, vaginal birth was very risky,” said a statement released by the hospital. However, after the doctor explained the situation to Yan, Ma’s husband, and suggested a C-section, the husband’s family insisted on a natural birth. Hospital records show that Ma asked for a cesarean surgery for several times due to extreme pain, but Yan’s family denied her request despite the hospital’s advice. Around 8 p.m. that evening, almost five hours after Ma’s arrival at the hospital, she jumped from the fifth floor of the hospital building and died.

Accused of indirectly causing his wife’s death, Yan, when reached by media, told a story that differs from the one in the hospital’s statement. “When my wife told me that she couldn’t bear the pain anymore, I suggested that doctors give her a C-section,” Yan said. “But I was told by the hospital that my wife was about to give birth and she didn’t need a surgery.” A spokesman from the hospital responded forcefully (in Chinese), “Yan’s family didn’t allow Ma to have a C-section from the beginning to the end.” To prove the hospital’s innocence, the spokesman told the media that there is surveillance footage showing Ma walking out of the ward and kneeling by her husband’s family, begging for a cesarean surgery.


By Jiayun Feng
Jiayun is a Chinese native and was born in Shanghai, where she spent her first 20 years and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Fudan University. Interested in writing for a global audience, she attended the NYU Graduate School of Journalism for its Global & Joint Program Studies, which allows her to pursue a journalistic career along with her interest in international relations. She has previously interned for Sixth Tone and Shanghai Daily.
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