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Doctors let baby die because of lack of licence

A woman in eastern China's Zhejiang Province said her baby died because doctors didn't clear its respiratory tract after the baby was born because she didn't have a birth licence. Doctors then said the baby was stillborn.

The woman, surnamed Chen, is reporting the case to the local judicial authority, Ningbo-based Modern Gold newspaper reported.

Chen gave birth to the baby in 1999 at the Ninghai City No.1 People's Hospital but was told the baby was dead when born.

She did not find out the baby was alive at birth until last month when a doctor administering artificial insemination on her asked to see her medical records and discovered the truth.

"Doctors' handwriting on medical records is always a scribble and I never tried to figure that out," Chen told the newspaper.

With the help of the doctor, she knew the record read her baby born on April 5, 1999 was alive upon delivery but died two minutes later as doctors didn't clear its respiratory tract. The reason recorded was Chen didn't have a birth license for the baby.

Under China's law, mothers must apply for birth licenses for their babies before birth, otherwise the babies will not be able to enjoy social welfare.

Chen said she didn't apply for the license because she fell pregnant before she got married. She feared doctors at the premarital medical checkup - which was compulsory at the time - would make her abort the baby if they knew she was pregnant.

Having a baby outside marriage is against family planning guidelines.
Chen had gone through two unsuccessful artificial insemination procedures in the past 10 years.


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