Dead body of child infected with H1N1 abandoned in a ditch


From Xinhuanet:

December 9, 2009, in Guangzhou, a 3-year-old boy’s dead body was found abandoned in a dry ditch on the side of Guangchong highway. The boy named Zhou Hongdu was severely infected with H1N1 virus. The news caused quite a stir when once broke out. Many media continuously tracked this matter for days; Guangzhou residents showed great concerns and raised heated discussions about the incident. It has been listed as one of the top ten health news incidents in 2009. The incident resulted in many “questions” which still had no answers to until this day, some netizens called it Guangzhou’s “number 1 mystery” in 2009. Yesterday, Guangzhou health and public security departments issued written statements of the incident investigation. Health department said, the hospital’s treatment was effective, and the discharging was in compliance with the law and regulation; however this does not mean their work is without flaws. Public security department said, “There has not been evidence for suspecting relevant parties of any crime”.

Hongdu was abandoned in a ditch for over a month. Was the child still alive when leaving the hospital? This was media’s number one questions. Yesterday, health department stated, according to doctor’s records, custody records and hospital records etc. before the child left the hospital, he was still in the intensive care and under active treatment, when he left the hospital the baby had vital signs of being alive.

Health department stated that during the time when Hongdu was being treated at the City’s Women and Children’s Medical Center, the hospital strictly followed relevant provisions of treatment practices for infectious diseases, actively provided treatment for the patient.

The statement said “Due to the rapid development of the illness, the hospital explained the patient’s illness and treatment to the family members many times, patient’s family expressed understanding. After the patient was in the hospital for 4 days, his illness had worsened, the hospital once again explained the situation to the parents, and the parents expressed understanding. On the same day, patient’s family total of 10 people, twice requested to give up treatment and to discharge the patient from the hospital. After the hospital discouraged this decision several times but was unable to persuade the family, on the same day 8pm after the parents singed statement of willingly being discharged form hospital, the hospital agreed to proceed with the discharging. At 11 pm the family took Zhou Hongdu out of the hospital.”


11/26 Entering Zhongshan first hospital fever, coughing
12/3 Diagnosed with H1N1, and sent the child to City’s Children’s hospital illness worsened
12/5-6 The hospital reported the situation 4 times to the parents the patient was in critical condition
12/6 Family twice requested to give up on treatment, finally left the hospital at 11pm H1N1 virus nucleic acid testing was negative, virus contingence is lowered.

Knowing the child was severely infected with H1N1 virus, but agreed to let him leave the hospital, is the hospital at fault? This is also one of the media report’s focuses.

In regard to this, the Guangzhou municipal health department stated in the statement “The hospital’s treatment was active and effective.” The health department determined the discharging was in compliance with the law and regulation because of the following 4 reason.

1. When the parents of the patient took initiative to request their son being discharged from the hospital, the hospital fulfilled its responsibility by informing the situation and pressing the family to let the patient stay. In order to respect patient’s family’s rights to make the choice when already being informed the situation, the hospital agreed to discharge the patient.

2. H1N1 is classified as category B infectious diseases so the hospital cannot mandate the isolation and treatment. Therefore the hospital cannot forcefully prevent the child to leave the hospital.

3. Before the patient left the hospital, his father signed the discharge statement, and the father clearly understood the child’s condition, which he should not leave the hospital. Knowing what would happen to the child if leaving the hospital, but he still insisted with this decision, and made the statement that anything were happen to the child after leaving the hospital will not hold the hospital responsible .

4. After the child was discharged from the hospital, the hospital reported the relevant information to the health administrative department and Baiyun District Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

At the same time, health department in the statement also admitted “consistent with the clinical and legal requirements does not mean the work is without flaws.”

The health department said “The hospital should have done better at handling this incident; should have done more detailed work of communicating with the family and to making a greater effort to retain the child. The Hospital should not rigidly stick to the regulations, should show more humanity and care, not to give up on any chance of saving a child’s life.”

The health department also said “In the future we should strengthen the publicity of the funeral management regulations, to correctly handle the dead bodies, on one hand it is the pay respect to the dead, on the other hand is to be in line with the requirement of public health to protect public interest.”

Does Hongdu’s family’s actions constitute of any crimes of abandonment or even murder? Yesterday, Guangzhou Public Security Bureau said in a written statement, “There has not been evidence for suspecting relevant parties of any crime”.

According to the briefing, December 9, 2009 morning, the police received report about a child’s dead body was found in a ditch by the side of the highway. After receiving the report, Baiyun District Public Security Bureau police quickly carried out investigations, and commissioned the Southern Forensic Medical Center to conduct an autopsy. According to the investigation results and conclusion of the comprehensive analysis, there has not been evidence for suspecting relevant parties of any crime.

Hongdu’s dead body was abandoned in a ditch under the highway, many readers cried out that it is “too cruel”. However when the reporter interviewed Hongdu’s hometown village, everyone thinks this incident is nothing new. Villager said “this just is how we normally deal with the remains of a child.” When a child dies, the villagers retain two customs when handling the corpse. 1. The directly family must not be involved in handling the body; 2. There will be no funnel. They will hire a bachelor to carry the body to the mountains, and just abandoning the body or burring in a shallow grave, no one will be held accountable.

    1. Yeah, it’s shockingly horrible, honestly I have not heard any villages have this customs, but it is still very possible… According to earlier reports, the family already gave up on the child, they check him out of the hospital because they think its useless and didnt want to pay more medical bills.

      1. Unbelievable. Ugh.

        And re some of the below comments, I’m Chinese and have family in relatively remote villages in a relatively poor province, and I don’t know ANYONE who wouldn’t be f***ing disgusted at the thought of throwing a dead kid into a ditch. They’d give the poor bastard a burial at least.

        This is one f***ed up local custom.

  1. Seems like the hospital didn’t do anything wrong but the last part of the article again assures me that China has a loooong way to go to become a civilized society.

    1. ok, seriously, define civilized for me. I wont get all anti-western here, being a Canadian. But man, non-burial of the dead does not equates to being uncivilized. And that’s just Guanzhou, not chinAAAAAA. Amazing how all those all the usual cultural stereotype can be found in that one little short comment.

      1. Are you serious? They left a 3-year old to die and rot in a ditch. Call a spade a spade, that’s uncivilized.

        1. By this logic, I guess we can say america is also uncivilized with specific cases of rape, gun crime, physco killer, the projects, pimps, drugs, and 25% of the world prisoners + illegal war and water boarding…etc etc

  2. Why do you call chinese villagers uncivilized, they have customs and traditions that are genuinely chinese, unlike modern chinese customs which are revamped western values and totally unchinese. We shouldn’t encourage the destruction of all things traditional in China just because they don;t conform to what the western world believes is civil. Do we want China to become just another America where all trace of red indian life is destroyed? we should respect and allow village traditonal life and their customs to continue…not actively go about criticizing it, its basically cultural genocide which is probably what the CCP wants.

    1. yes.. let’s all not bury dead corpses. i bet it would be very good for public health. :S :S ;S

    2. Just because one village does it doesn’t make it a “Chinese tradition”. Just because something is a tradition doesn’t make it good or right. You seem like a moron for defending dumping a child in a ditch just because of your knee jerk cultural defensiveness when you yourself have no clue about that place or those people.

      “we should respect and allow village traditonal life and their customs to continue…not actively go about criticizing it, its basically cultural genocide which is probably what the CCP wants.”

      Really? How far you willing to take that?

      Putting bodies, infected with diseases, in open ditches, next to roads, just doesn’t sound like anything other than utter stupidity.

      1. It would make it a local chinese village tradition for which I have a lot more knowledge than you since I’m chinese and you’re just a foreign troll cretin on a forum who knows nothing about China. Therefore, since you’re a non-chinese…your opinions are completely worthless and irrelevant to someone who is chinese. As a chinese I proudly have no interest in what foreigners especially americans and niggers…think of our traditions.

  3. Indeed shockingly horrific.can’t believe it.My God,Where is whereas the least humanity exist here?

  4. during the height of the H1N1 or Swine Flu epidemic, i was very afraid to get infected with this disease and i wore face mask whenever i got into heavily populated areas.

  5. sht the fuck up with all your weakasses and go join the peace corps and do something about this uncivilized crap all you biscuit eaters are talkingcomplaining about……..

    the parents didnt even havemoney when the kid was alive, now HOW HOW HOW will they have money to pay for funeral expenses after the kid is DEAD and gone? they dropped his asss off on the side of the road quickstyle to avoid more $ wasting……….you probably do that too if that happen to you ……..


    HOWEVER, with all i said, i am not saying its right , or humane, but it just happened that way…..also,
    dont talk bad about guangzhou just because this b.s. happened there. blame the crazy influx of poor assss migrant workers that flood guangzhou. i was there in 2001 and they were speaking more mando than cantonese. was also there in 2009 and it became lil shanghai with those flocking ass migrants……they brung more than their suitcase when they went to GZ….talk about uncivilized, i seen those goof troops not wash their hand after taking a shit and they were cooks to the restaurant, i seen them spit outrageously in public, i seen supermarkets there with raw meat sitting out NOT on ice and being loitered by flies, how close are they to ur WHOLEFOODS AND SAFEWAY MARKETS?? light years away bastards and CHINA wont be getting any better anytime soon, you know why? there are more black people there then a villiage in africa……..the most weirdos, unsuccessful american rappers, dj’s, and white crackers are there thinking they are doing something wonderful, teaching english when they barely have h.s. diplomas, candyasses, that china is letting in …..what do u get when you put a chinaman villiager with a white boy from timbucktoo kansas together? a buncha pook guys hum ka chans

  6. At least a hundred persons in our city have been infected with the H1N1 virus. I was very scared to get infected with this disease during the pandemic,*;

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