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February 22, 2011

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Father left premature baby in field

A FATHER abandoned his premature daughter in a field on the day she was born because he couldn't afford her medical bills, a court heard yesterday.

The child, who weighed barely 1 kilogram, later died in hospital, the Pudong New Area People's Court heard.

The father, identified by his surname Liu, pleaded guilty to abandoning his daughter and was sentenced to 18 months in prison with probation. During proceedings, his wife sobbed in the public gallery.

Liu, aged 42, an Anhui Province native, came with his wife to work in the city 10 years ago. The couple have a nine-year-old daughter.

His 36-year-old wife became pregnant last year and they decided to have the baby. But when Liu's wife received a medical examination last November, while seven-and-a-half months pregnant, she was advised to undergo a caesarean section immediately. Liu's wife gave birth to a baby girl on November 18.

Doctors told Liu it would cost a lot to treat the premature baby, who they feared was likely to die in any case.

Faced with the economic burden, Liu, who earns a modest salary, decided to end treatment and signed his daughter out of hospital.

But instead of taking the child home, Liu abandoned her on suburban farmland without telling his wife.

Liu left a 100 yuan note (US$15) with his daughter, hoping that someone would adopt her. If nobody adopted her, the money could be used to deal with the baby's body, he told the court.

The child was discovered around noon the next day and sent to hospital. She died three days later of respiratory system failure.

Liu was detained in the hospital ward where his wife was recovering.

He was judged to have abandoned his daughter as he placed her in a more dangerous situation than if he had asked the hospital to stop treatment without removing her.


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