Abandoned child receiving treatment in Beijing

08:13, February 08, 2010      

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A baby girl who was abandoned by her parents because she suffered life threatening birth defects is receiving medical treatment in Beijing after being taken by a woman without permission from a Tianjin hospital.

The newborn girl suffers from a congenital defect that blocks the anus, and other problems. Her family abandoned her in a local hospice because her condition cannot be cured.

China Daily has been told that on Friday morning at 2:30 am, a Beijing resident and four friends snuck into Tianjin Children's Hospital and took the child without permission. They sent her to Beijing United Family Hospital, where she is now drinking milk and receiving proper medical treatment.

"I read a news report on Feb 3 and made the quick decision to snatch the baby because I was afraid that she would not survive for a long time without proper medical care," said one of the volunteers, who asked to be known as Shenhai Shuiyao.

"When I rushed into the baby's room at the hospice, the nurses were changing her diaper. I saw the little girl's skinny arms and legs spread out like dry twigs but her belly was swollen like a purple watermelon.

"Her condition is much better now after being discharged from the intensive care unit to a ward. Her belly is smaller after the doctor set up a tube to help her defecate. While being fed with milk every two hours, the girl cries louder than before."

The baby's father, the Tianjin Children's Hospital and doctors at Beijing United Family Hospital were unavailable for comment yesterday.

Shenhai Shuiyao said a surgeon at the Beijing hospital told her the baby's condition could be treated because it was not serious.

The Child Welfare League of China (CWLC), a Beijing-based charity group, and Shenhai Shuiyao and her friends intend to share medical expenses.

Shenhai Shuiyao said the child's parents had been asked by CWLC to consent to the child's treatment in Beijing but had refused.

If the family continues to refuse consent, CWLC and the Beijing group have indicated they will attempt to sue the family for crimes of abandonment and indirect intentional homicide.

The baby was born on Jan 15 and received a series of medical treatments in hospital for an imperforate anus, swelling of the kidneys, and heart disease, Zhang Wen, director of CWLC, said last Friday.

But her family finally gave up 13 days later after they realized the baby's condition was "hopeless" and could not be cured, and that the process was extremely painful for the baby, according to Zhang.

The father told media at the time: "I can't bring myself to see the baby continue to struggle painfully along on the verge of life.

"Passing away quietly would be the best for her," the father reportedly said, adding he told a lie to his wife that the baby had died due to congenital malformation.

The family's decision sparked public uproar after the case was exposed on an online forum. More than 10 netizens even visited the hospice to protest the family's decision and urged for action to cure the baby.

Source: China Daily (By Lan Tian )
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