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Cruel Photos Of Newborns Highlight Tension Over Health Care In China

Laura Lin

Worldcrunch

SINGPAO.COM (China)

ZHEJIANG – Earlier this week, a nursing student used her blog to post some photos she'd taken in a neo-natal ward in Zhejiang Province. The young woman had made paper cut-outs of blue eyebrows and pig ears and noses, and attached them to two sleeping babies. She then picked up each child one at a time, holding the infant in her hand with the neck unsupported, while taking a photo with the other hand. The infants, experts noted, could have been seriously injured.

Alongside the photos, the student nurse blogged comments such as "What's the matter with you why don't you wake up...?" and "How come you are pretending to be dead at your age", the Singpao.com reported.

News of the blog post has spread quickly through China, prompting a wave of outrage. As for attempted damage control, the medical school in question and the associated hospital immediately apologized. Nonetheless they also tried to minimize the seriousness of the incident, focusing on the fact that cameras should be kept out of a neo-natal ward. The mistreatment of the babies was brushed over.

The showdown can be seen in the context of a chronic shortage of access to medical care in China, which has lead to serious tension between the public and the medical profession. Whatever this would-be nurse was thinking, it is clear that no one is laughing.

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