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Hospital offers little hope for girl's survival

(China Daily)

09:13, October 17, 2011

GUANGZHOU - A 2-year-old girl who was ignored by passers-by as she lay injured after being run over twice, has been declared "brain dead" by doctors, who say she could die at any time.

Footage from a surveillance camera presented on local TV shows Yue Yue was walking in a hardware market in Foshan, Guangdong province, on Thursday, about 100 meters away from her home, when she was run over by a van at 5:26 pm. Three passers-by who noticed the injured girl chose to ignore her.

The girl was then run over by a light-duty truck. The riders of four electric bicycles, a tricycle and three passers-by all chose to ignore her and no one at a shop close to the scene came to her aid.

Seven minutes after she was first hit by the van, a 57-year-old rag collector noticed the girl and moved her to the curb. The woman then tried talking to the shopkeeper but received no response. She then walked into the street and a few seconds later, the girl's mother appears and rushes away with the girl.

The girl received emergency surgery in Foshan before being transferred to the General Hospital of the Guangzhou Military Command of the People's Liberation Army in Guangzhou on the same day.

The girl was critically injured, with no spontaneous respiration and close to brain death when she arrived at the hospital, said Wen Qiang, deputy director of the intensive care unit of the hospital.

The little girl was declared "brain dead" by the hospital on Sunday afternoon and could die at any time, according to a doctor surnamed Peng.

The most optimistic estimate is that the girl will remain in a vegetative state on life support.

Police caught the truck driver soon after the incident and the van driver turned himself in on Sunday afternoon.

Before the accident, the girl, just back with her mother from the kindergarten, was left alone at the hardware shop of the family when her mother went to collect dried clothes. When she returned, the mother could not find her daughter at the shop or anywhere nearby until she heard the rag-collecter shout, according to Guangzhou Daily.

According to reports the van driver had just split up from his girlfriend and was talking on his mobile phone when he hit the girl.

"If she is dead, I may pay only about 20,000 yuan ($3,125). But if she is injured, it may cost me hundreds of thousands yuan," said the driver over the phone to the media, before he gave himself up to the police.

When she ran from shop to shop for the identity of the girl, the rag collector was told by a number of shopkeepers to mind her own business.

The case provoked much public anger. With many netizens condemning the cold-bloodiness of the passers-by and blaming their behavior on previous high-profile court cases.

In June, Xu Yunhe was ordered by a court in Tianjin to pay an elderly woman he had helped more than 100,000 yuan.

In the guidelines on how to help elderly people who have fallen down, issued by the Ministry of Health in September, the public are advised: "Don't rush to lend a hand to the elderly after seeing them fall over. It should be handled by different measures in different situations."

The guidelines suggest evaluating the person's physical condition, determining the cause of the accident, and making a plan for rescue workers before lending a hand.

The ministry said the guidelines have nothing to do with morality and ethics but explain how to deliver assistance in a scientifically proper way.

Earlier this month, a bus driver in Chengdu, Sichuan province, drove his vehicle directly to the hospital after an elderly woman on board collapsed with a cerebral hemorrhage. Four other passengers, who were willing to serve as witnesses should any dispute occur in the future, gave the driver their phone numbers.

Tan Fang, a professor with the South China Normal University in Guangzhou, set up a foundation in March to deal with the risks of helping the elderly in difficult situations. It provides both financial and legal aid to those who get into trouble helping the elderly.

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