Chinese push to ban unethical doctors

Michael Cook
August 31, 2013
Reproduced with Permission

The Chinese government and the Chinese Medical Association have called for life-bans for doctors convicted of unethical behaviour. The reputation of physicians has been tarnished in recent months by allegations that more than 500 doctors took bribes from the French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis in 2007 and by doctors involved in baby-trafficking.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission - which also administers China's one-child policy - says that it will cooperate with judicial authorities in investigating bribery cases, blacklist businesses and individuals that offer bribes and punish corruption with criminal charges or the revocation of qualifications.

Child trafficking is a huge business in China, partly because of a shortage of children due to the one-child policy. It is estimated that between 20,000 and 40,000 children are stolen every year. A few weeks ago an obstetrician in Fuping County, Dr Zhang Shuxia, was unmasked as a trafficker. She would tell parents that the child was stillborn, terminally ill or deformed and whisk it away to her accomplices. She still charged her usual fee for services.