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November 13, 2009

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Ill son drowned to 'end his suffering'

A MOTHER and father have been charged with manslaughter for allegedly drowning their seriously ill son at sea off east China's Zhejiang Province because they wanted to end his suffering.

A resident found the boy's body floating on July 2 and reported it to police in Jiaxing City's Haiyan County, yesterday's Ningbo-based Xiandai Jinbao newspaper reported.

An autopsy determined the cause of death was drowning, and a scar led police to identify him as a two-year-old who had visited a clinic in Qinshan Town.

Following information on his medical record, police contacted his parents, who are from southwest China's Chongqing and were working at a construction site in Haiyan. Police said the couple confessed they had followed their native custom by drowning the boy at sea because they wanted to end his suffering, the newspaper report said.

The boy developed serious internal complications after an appendicitis operation in Chongqing, the parents allegedly told police.

The couple spent thousands of yuan at the clinic in Zhejiang, but treatment had to be suspended when the parents failed to provide records of his original surgery in Chongqing.

The couple then decided to throw the son into the sea.

"It is the custom of our hometown to throw terminally ill children into the sea to end their suffering," police quoted them as saying.


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