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November 13, 2009

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New probe set for claim that game-playing doc killed tot

AN independent investigation has been launched into the death of a five-month-old baby girl at Nanjing Children's Hospital, yesterday's Yangtse Evening Post reported.

The baby's parents have blamed her death on a doctor who they said played online games instead of providing emergency treatment, the newspaper said.

An earlier investigation by the city's health bureau found that the doctor had provided appropriate treatment to the baby although he had underestimated the severity of her illness. It denied the doctor was playing an online game at the time, though the doctor has been suspended from his job.

The new inquiry will be conducted by four medical officials, five journalists, a Netizen, a computer professional, two provincial-level medical experts and a neighborhood dispute mediator, according to Ding Haiyang, the health bureau's Party secretary.

According to the family, the baby was sent to the hospital on November 3 with an eye infection. Its illness worsened during the night, but the doctor allegedly appeared reluctant to attend to the baby, saying he needed to sleep, the family said. Relatives also said earlier that the doctor had been playing online games.

The baby died the next day.

The third-party team launched to investigate the death will talk to the baby's family and the doctor, review the baby's medical records and check the doctor's computer, Ding said. It will publish the results soon after the investigation concludes.

The baby's father, surnamed Xu, told the newspaper that the team had talked to him on Wednesday afternoon.

Xu said he will cooperate with the team as he believes, "The government will give me a clear answer (to the death)."

The hospital also welcomed the launch of the team and said it will cooperate.

According to the hospital, the baby had developed an eye disease that involved a rapidly spreading inflammation. There are no records that similar serious cases have ever been cured, an unnamed senior doctor at the hospital told the newspaper.


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