After a pregnant woman committed suicide late last month, allegedly after being denied a C-section, a maternity department and the woman’s family have reportedly come to a preliminary agreement over the tragedy.
The details of this agreement have not been announced, but according to insiders, it involves the hospital paying the family compensation money, while the family promises not to speak with the media.
Last week, the tragic tale out of northwestern Shaanxi province became the most explosive topic of discussion on Chinese social media with both sides attempting to air their side of the story.
According to the First Hospital of Yulin, the 26-year-old woman, Ma Rongrong, checked into its maternity ward on August 30th, already more than 41 weeks pregnant. After examination, doctors recommended a C-section delivery, but the woman’s family insisted on a natural birth, even refusing to give in when Ma herself came out of the ward twice on August 31st to plead with them, explaining that the pain was becoming just too much to bear.
In China, a family member must give consent before a patient undergoes surgery. In addition, Ma also had signed an authorization letter to transfer power of attorney to her husband on the day she went into the hospital. The doctors said that their hands were tied as Ma’s situation was not deemed life-threatening.
However, a short time later, Ma jumped from a fifth-floor window of the ward, killing herself and her fetus.
But, Ma’s husband tells a different story, claiming that he had twice given permission for a C-section, but that doctors had said that the birth would happen soon naturally and that a cesarean was not actually needed. Meanwhile, Ma’s family has dismissed accusations that they refused the C-section because of financial concerns, boasting that they own six cave dwellings and a car, making them moderately well off in rural Suide county.
The fact that the hospital has apparently struck a deal with the family has left many netizens puzzled. As revelations about the case trickled out last week, many found themselves siding more and more with the hospital, believing that the family was lying about ever agreeing to the C-section.
However, on Friday, local authorities held that the hospital had been “negligent” in their patient’s suicide. While investigators did not blame the hospital as being the cause of Ma’s suicide, and did not question its medical procedures, they did charge the hospital with being unprepared for an emergency and with lacking communication with the pregnant woman prior to her death.
Meanwhile, two top medical officials at the hospital — the obstetrics and gynecology director and the chief the hospital — have been suspended from their posts while further investigations into the incident are carried out.
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