Suicide after denied caesarean fuels push for law change in China

  • 08/09/2017

Warning: This article contains sensitive material that may upset some readers.

Calls for new women's reproductive legislation is growing in China, after footage emerged of a woman appearing to get on her knees and beg her family to let her have a caesarean.

The 26-year-old woman, who was 41 weeks pregnant, reportedly killed herself when her request was refused, because the pain was too great to endure.

She fell from the fifth floor of No 1 Hospital in northern China after her family allegedly twice rebuffed appeals for a C-section, which was needed as her baby's head was too large for natural delivery.

In China, medical institutions need the consent of both a patient and a family member before undertaking any surgery - which includes caesareans.

The woman's pleas were captured by CCTV cameras at the hospital, and police later deemed her death - and, subsequently, that of her baby - was a suicide.

"The pregnant woman twice walked out of the ward to tell her family that she wanted a caesarean because she could no longer bear the pain, but the family continued to insist on a natural delivery," medical notes said.

However the woman's husband has denied that they refused to allow a C-section, saying a doctor had actually told them a natural birth was possible and would happen soon.

Regardless of who was to blame, the story has gained widespread attention in China - and has dragged the current legislation on women's reproductive rights into the spotlight.

People all over the country have joined growing calls for change on the issue, and urged the government to bring in new reproductive laws.