A woman in labor died in what appeared to be a suicide over a law that requires family to approve a C-section, according to the South China Morning Post. The woman allegedly killed herself after being denied a C-Section by her family, who apparently wished for her to deliver her child naturally, despite advice from the attending physicians to go through with the procedure.
The pregnant woman, only identified by her surname Ma, was rushed to the maternity ward of First Hospital of Yulin in Shaanxi Province, northern China, last Wednesday. According to the statement provided by the hospital, Ma was already 41 weeks into her pregnancy when she was admitted, was in excruciating pain, and was told that a natural birth could prove dangerous for the mother-to-be.
“The large fetal head circumference meant that vaginal delivery would have been very risky,” said in the statement.
The physicians recommended that the woman deliver her child via C-Section to avoid any possible complications; unfortunately, she was denied the procedure by her family, which needed to give their consent as per an old Chinese law. No matter how many times she begged for a C-Section, the family refused, demanding she give birth naturally.
On Thursday night, the pregnant woman, unable to tolerate the pain any longer, jumped from the fifth-floor window of the hospital ward and fell to her death, killing both herself and her unborn child. Police have deemed the act as a suicide.
Once the story made its way online, Chinese social media users on Weibo criticized the family for the way they treated the woman. One user remarked, “Besides the pregnant woman, there’s no need to ask anyone else their opinion.”
“A married woman isn’t a tool for producing babies, how can people still be so ignorant these days!” another user posted.
The husband, after learning the story had gone viral, offered his own side of the story, claiming that he had already given his approval twice for the C-section to proceed, Shanghaiist reported. He said that despite his approvals, the doctors said the procedure wouldn’t be necessary and that his wife would soon give birth naturally.
A spokesperson from the hospital denied the man’s claim, offering evidence in the form of hospital paperwork with the man’s signature on it declaring that he is aware of the risks associated with declining a C-Section.
Additionally, several Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) images show the woman begging her parents for the procedure.
During the investigation, a reporter was unsuccessful in their attempts to reach the husband for comment. A cousin of the husband gave a statement to the press corroborating his story, that Ma gave the family’s consent to proceed but was told by physicians that it wouldn’t be necessary.
While the matter has yet to be concluded, the court of public opinion has seemingly handed down a guilty verdict to the husband and his family.
“The husband is a liar. From the hospital’s perspective, there is no reason not to allow the lady to have a C-section, given that it usually can charge more from a cesarean birth than a vaginal birth,” one user on Weibo wrote.
“Ladies, please remember to bring your parents to the hospital when giving birth.” advised another. “Even though you think you are part of your husband’s family when you marry him, your father- and mother-in-law are very unlikely to treat you as their real daughter. You’ll be surprised to find out how selfish they are.”