A 26-year-old pregnant woman, Ma, from Yulin, Shaanxi Province in Mainland China was reported to have jumped off from the fifth floor of Yulin No. 1 Hospital along with her unborn child on 31 August evening. The tragic incident happened after her family allegedly insisted on a natural birth and rejected her request to undergo a C-section delivery, despite the woman suffering from immense pain.

The story then took a different turn, with the family now placing the blame on the hospital – as they claimed the hospital has refused to carry out the C-section procedure.

Following the tragic incident, both parties are now embroiled in a heated finger-pointing dispute. It was reported that the two physicians involved in the incident have been suspended for investigation.

Hospital: The family repeatedly refused permission for a C-section delivery

To further clarify the incident, Yulin No.1 Hospital has since published the chronological flow of this tragic incident on 3 September, as well as a documentary evidence depicting that Yan, Ma’s husband, had sole responsibility to authorise any surgical procedures Ma needed to undergo.

According to the hospital’s statement, Ma was admitted to the hospital in the evening of 30 August. Upon doctors’ diagnosis, Ma was recommended to undergo a C-section delivery, considering the relatively larger size of the baby’s head increased the risk of a vaginal delivery.

“Initial diagnosis found that Ma was over 41 weeks pregnant with her first child,” said the statement issued by the hospital. “The large fetal head circumference meant that vaginal delivery would have been very risky.”

According to the hospital, in spite of their effort in explaining to Ma’s family the possible risks involved, Ma’s husband proceeded to sign an ‘informed consent’ declaration on the same day – agreeing to go ahead with a vaginal delivery, despite having known the risks.

The statement also claimed that the pain intensified the morning after, and Ma forcefully and repeatedly left the labour room by herself – pleading her family to allow her to undergo the C-section surgery.

Family: The hospital refused to carry out a C-section delivery

On the other hand, the family disagreed with the hospital’s claim. Yan told Beijing Youth Daily that his wife had left the ward twice to inform him about her unbearable pain.

"The CCTV recording was actually showing my wife in a squatting position due to the pain. She was not kneeling down to beg us for undergoing the abdominal surgery. Indeed, I had already given the doctors the green light to perform the surgery, but the doctor replied by telling me that my wife was about to give birth soon, and it would not be necessary to conduct a C-section delivery,” explained Yan.

Yan also claimed that he has subsequently contacted his friend who is a doctor and is willing to perform the surgery. Yet, right after he finished his call, he was informed by the nurses that his wife had gone missing. Yan said he and the other family members wanted to enter the delivery room, but were stopped by the medical staff.

Eventually, after they forced their way into the delivery room, they were told by the staff that Ma was at the first floor. Subsequently, the hospital announced Ma’s death after failing to revive her at the emergency room.

Yan also expressed his dissatisfaction, lamenting that hospital had not provided family members with any death notices on his wife’s passing. He also claimed his wife’s body was transferred to the morgue without prior discussions with the family. In addition, he has questioned why his wife had been lying naked outside the first floor of the hospital, and was pronounced dead as soon as she was rushed to the emergency room.

Speculation: Possible motives behind

A police investigation by China’s Ministry of Public Security has confirmed the case as a suicide incident. A meeting among the three parties – police, hospital and the family – has been arranged to conclude on the incident, as the police advised the family to use legitimate ways, which include filing a law suit to raise any objections.

The incident has stirred up heated discussions on the possible motives behind the family’s alleged refusal of carrying out a C-section surgery for the pregnant woman.

It was speculated that the family might be adhering to certain old customs related to fertility. Some suspected the family might have a strong stand about natural childbirth – as the “best method” to deliver the baby – as well as a “right timing” to give birth, etc. The reason might also be the family wanting a second child in a short period of time, as women take significantly more time to heal and recover from a C-section surgery as opposed to natural birth. MIMS

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