A toddler with severe brain damage whose parents asked that he be euthanized underwent surgery this past weekend at a Shanghai hospital after charity organizations helped raise funds for the boy’s operation.
Eighteen-month-old Xiong Junyi, from Anhui province, suffered from multiple injuries including brain damage last month after he got stuck in a conveyor belt at the company where his father worked. Xiong was in the hospital in Anhui for over a month after the accident, and wasn’t able to move or talk and had difficulty swallowing and breathing after being discharged.
The boy’s parents applied for a mercy killing for their son because they couldn’t bear to watch him suffer, but their request was rejected by the local civil affairs bureau, as euthanasia is illegal in China.
Xiong’s story attracted attention of the media and charity organizations, which helped arranged for his surgery in Shanghai. He successfully underwent the operation on January 30 at the Children’s Hospital of Fudan University.
Dr. Li Hao, director of the children hospital’s neurosurgery department, said that the follow-up rehabilitation will need a good deal of time, energy and money.
“We can’t promise how well he can recover. The best result would be that he can take care of himself in the future.”
“The thought of euthanasia came about because we could see no solution and couldn’t bear to see our son suffer every day,” the boy’s father, Xiong Zhengqing, previously told Shanghai Daily.
“This hospital is one of the best in the country and we will work with doctors in any way we can to help our boy.”