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Hospital ordered to pay 760,000 to family in baby mix up case

By CAO YIN | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-12-07 20:14

A court in Central China's Henan province ordered a hospital to pay more than 760,000 yuan ($116,384) in compensation to a family of three after it determined the hospital harmed a couple by mistakenly giving them the wrong baby 28 years ago and caused their biological child to become seriously ill due to its previously medical irregularities.

The Gulou District People's Court in Kaifeng, a city in Henan, publicly announced the ruling on Friday, demanding Huaihe Hospital of Henan University pay compensation to the couple, Guo Xikuan and Du Xinzhi, and their 28-year-old biological son, Yao Ce, a liver cancer patient.

The compensation mainly includes 400,000 yuan for the family's mental anguish, as well as 360,000 yuan for Yao's medical expenses, nutrition fees, lost work expenses and traffic fees, according to the court.

The case triggered public attention in April when Beijing News reported that a mother surnamed Xu from East China's Jiangxi province found that Yao, whom she had been raising for 28 years as her son, was not her biological child when she wanted to donate her liver to save the cancer-stricken young man.

The discovery was made after Xu began hunting for Yao's biological parents to help him obtain a donor for a liver transplant.

In late April, Xu found Yao's biological parents and her biological son, a healthy auxiliary police officer, in Henan with help from the provincial police. They found that in 1992, when Xu gave birth, she was given the wrong baby by the hospital.

Yao, who was diagnosed with Hepatitis B at the age of 2 and end-stage liver cancer in February, was supposed to be given a high-dosage Hepatitis B vaccine shortly after birth, because his biological mother, Du, is a Hepatitis B carrier, but the hospital mistakenly gave it to Xu's healthy son instead.

Yao and his biological parents initiated the lawsuit after failing to negotiate compensation with the hospital. In September, the court opened the trial.

In Monday's ruling, the court clarified that the hospital made a major mistake 28 years ago and did not give the vaccine to Yao in a timely manner, with irregularities in medical treatment and management.

"The work error brought decades-long separation to Yao and his biological parents, so the hospital should pay them mental compensation," the court said. "Although whether liver cancer happens partially relates to an individual's physical condition and life experience, the hospital still needs to take 60 percent of responsibility for Yao's disease due to its previously mistaken and late vaccination."

Neither of the sides in the case said they will appeal to a higher court.

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