Hospital throws out baby
A hospital has suspended four medical workers for mistakenly diagnosing a stillbirth and disposing of a baby that was alive, state press said yesterday. Health authorities in Guangdong Province have launched an investigation into the incident on Oct. 26 at the Nanhai Red Cross Hospital in Foshan City, Beijing News said. Liu Dongmei (劉冬梅) — eight months pregnant — had been rushed to the hospital with internal bleeding and stomach cramps. She later had an emergency birth, but the baby was neither breathing nor crying when it came out and its skin had turned purple, the report said. Believing it was dead, the medical team disposed of the child, but did not follow proper procedures, it said. When Liu’s sister-in-law asked to see the body about 30 minutes after birth, she was handed a yellow plastic bag containing the infant and found it was still alive, said the Foshan News, a local Web site. Following the discovery, the newborn was rushed to intensive care, where he remains in stable condition. Liu and her husband are seeking to sue the hospital, Beijing News said.
No-smoke zones to expand
Seoul will expand no-smoking zones to cover one-fifth of its area by 2014, the municipal government said yesterday, as part of a clampdown in a city once noted for its tolerance for smokers. Over the next three years, smoking will be banned in 21 percent of the metropolis’ 605km2 area, including 1,305 school zones, 1,910 parks and 5,715 bus stops. The city government said in a statement that after 2014, it would consider banning smoking in all public outdoor areas except for designated zones. Seoul this year banned smoking in three major plazas and 20 parks to try to reduce second-hand smoke. Offenders face a fine of 100,000 won (US$90).
‘Bald’ label not libelous
Calling somebody “bald” is not derogatory and does not constitute libel, the top court ruled on Thursday. A 30-year-old man only identified as Kim living in the southern port of Busan was charged last year with defamation after calling a man named Park “bald” during an online chat. An investigation found that Park was not even bald, and Kim was convicted and fined 300,000 won. The Supreme Court overturned the decision, calling for caution in restricting free expression. “The word ‘bald head’ might have been used to insult the plaintiff, but we cannot say from an objective viewpoint that it implies damage to the social status or reputation of people,” it said.
Baby sellers arrested
Police in Zoucheng, Shandong Province, broke up a human trafficking ring involving poor migrant couples who were selling their babies, a state-run newspaper reported yesterday. Police in Zoucheng found last month that 17 infants had been sold in the city to Chinese buyers, the Global Times newspaper said. Police rescued 13 of the babies and sent them to welfare centers and a search is under way for the other four, the paper said. The report cited an investigating police officer as saying the couples were mainly migrants who had moved from poor areas in Sichuan Province to Zoucheng to seek work. It quoted the officer, Chen Qingwei (陳慶偉), as saying the husbands would go out to work while their wives sold their babies to raise money. One couple had sold three children, the newspaper said. Chen said baby boys could be sold for up to 50,000 yuan (US$7,730), while the price for girls was 30,000 yuan, much more than the parents could earn from farming.