December 31, 2013 in Nation/World

Doctor in China admits selling patients’ newborns

Associated Press
 

BEIJING – A Chinese doctor has admitted in court that she stole babies from the hospital where she worked and sold them to human traffickers, state media and a court said.

Zhang Shuxia, a locally respected and soon-to-retire obstetrician, stood trial on Monday in northern Shaanxi province’s Fuping county, according to online postings from the court.

Zhang told parents their newborns had congenital problems and persuaded them to “sign and give the babies up,” the court postings said.

The case exposed the operations of a baby trafficking ring that operated across several provinces centering on Zhang, who delivered babies at the Fuping County Maternal and Child Hospital.

Child trafficking is a big problem in China, despite severe legal punishments that include the death penalty.

The indictment said that from November 2011 to July 2013, she sold seven babies to middlemen who sold the babies to “couples” in central and eastern China. Six of the babies were rescued, but one that was trafficked for 1,000 yuan ($165) in April later died.

Zhang was found out when a mother suspected her baby had been abducted and reported her to police in July. The official Xinhua News Agency reported that Zhang had taken the baby home with her and sold him to a man in a neighboring province for 21,600 yuan ($3,600) the same night. He in turn resold the baby to a villager in central China for 59,800 yuan ($9,900). Several other suspects have been detained in at least four provinces, Xinhua said.

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