Old man mercy killing his friend now faces charge

| April 26th, 2011

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This is a scene from the movie " If you are the one(非诚勿扰)" : "Li Xiangshan is diagnosed with incurable disease, his good friend Qin Fen helps him to die with dignity. Qin pushes Li in the wheelchair to the bow of a boat. When Li pats Qin’s hand, Qin gets the message, goes back into the cabin and leaves Li there. Later, Li drops himself in the sea to end his life.

In the movie, Qin helps his good friend with his wish of "euthanasia" and everybody ends happy. But an old man from Jiangxi province, who in real life helped his good friend "die with dignity" finds himself in a great trouble when he’s accused of murder.

Zeng Qingxiang’s body was found buried in the orchard of his friend, Zhong Yichun. "On Oct 19th, Zeng came to my house and told me he had bought sleeping pills to kill himself… He begged me to bury him and promised to give me 200 yuan for that… I know he’s suffering from disease, now that he was so determined to end his life, I can only say yes." Later that day, around 3pm, the two good friends searched around the village, looking for a good place as Zeng’s tomb.

After finding the tomb, Zeng dug a pit in the ground, took the sleeping pills and lay in the pit. Ten minutes later, Zhong called Zeng’s name with no answer, so he filled the pit and Zeng’s body with soil as they planned.

The police said, the pit is only 50 cm in depth and the soil on top of Zeng’s body is only 30 cm layer of loose soil, which means if Zeng was alive when buried, he could easily get out. The posture of the dead is also quite peaceful and natural with no signs of struggle. A few empty bottles of sleeping pills were also found at the scene. All these suggest, Zeng was willing to be buried.

Zeng was a victim of recurrent insanity. He shouted at his wife, and got violent sometimes. More than once, he has revealed to his friends about his thought of suicide. "He always said, his children were grown up and it was time he ended his life. If he died and was buried in the village, he could at least keep a whole body and save money."

"He was very thrifty. He knew if he passed away later, his children have to spend almost 5,000 yuan for the funeral and everything. He would rather died somewhere else and get buried in the ground, which can save his children a big sum of money." says, Zeng’s neighbor, Mr Zeng Xianting.

The court is still investigating to find out whether it is the sleeping pills or the burial that exactly killed Zeng. This will directly influence the result of Zhong Yichun’s sentence. But according to the presiding judge, because euthanasia is not legal in China, whatever motivation Zhong has to help his friend to commit suicide, he has already violated the law.

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The Sea Inside (El mar dentro) is a real-life story of Spaniard Ramon Sampedro, who fought a 30 year campaign in favor of euthanasia and his own right to die.

"Euthanasia conducted with the consent of the patient is termed voluntary euthanasia. Active voluntary euthanasia is legal in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Passive voluntary euthanasia is legal throughout the U.S. per Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health."

Should euthanasia be made legal in China? This question is not to be avoided.

12 Comments | Leave a comment | Comment feed

  1. Gary says:

    The guy who died supplied his own sleeping pills. the friend just acted as an undertaker and didn’t get a doctor to officially pronounce the friend as dead. If he’d just done that second part, everything would be OK.

  2. Meg says:

    Humans have the right to die. But, it seems that Zheng was struggling with mental health, his competence should be questioned. Certainly in this situation, the right thing to do was not to help Zheng with suicide, but to seek professional/medical help. Plus getting paid $200 to perform euthanasia definitely demonstrates conflict of interest.

  3. Curren$y says:

    This is so wrong. He should be sentenced to death for burying his dead friend.

  4. Kaki says:

    China has a culture of death. Abortion, suicide, One Child policy, and overall not valuing life. Why? People don’t seem to love their neighbors like they do in other countries. People don’t volunteer. Everyone is out for himself. That’s what communism and its evil policies does to people. I have volunteered in Chinese orphanages and people there are shocked that Americans care about those kids. Kids that are right there in their community and nobody cares about them. SAD.

  5. aodaliya ren says:

    Voluntary Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide are illegal in all states and territories of Australia.

    Korean_guy’s does not even present an argument that holds any sway in a debate on the subject. Any reference to Mao in relation to this subject is another attempt to justify his one sided view of all things Chinese.

    Consider Hiroshima, after that event if Japan had of won the war then America would have been bastardised and that still would not be relative to this argument to say, “look at what Harry S Truman did killed a total 60 million people in ww2”.

    Korean_guy atleast makes it clear he does not agree with one having the right to die without attempting to deficate on the Chinese (well to some extent).

    What would be good if it was possible to have a construct argument here without racial overtones and the same interjections about attrocities commited by key political figures throughout history. What nation has not commited attrocities against another at some point of time?

    Korean_guy I know you are intelligent, obviously many of us are interested in your point of view in relation to the many articles that air here but is it possible for you to argue a point without denigrating everything Chinese?

  6. Bíró says:

    Dont know why its nessecary to bring Mao into this at all? I dont think its a China/Chinese thing only.

  7. Bíró says:

    To me, under certain circumstances, commiting Euthanasia is a sign of deep affection towards the deathly ill friend/partner. There is nothing inhumane about it.
    And who gives a fuck what that Korean_Guy has to say anyway, he is nothing but a retarded Borderline Psychtic who seeks attention. Pathetic

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