A medical rights debate recently ignited in china following the death of a Chinese pregnant woman who was denied a Caesarean. According to the reports, 26-year-old Ma Rongrong committed suicide by jumping from a hospital window in Yulin, Northwest China’s Shaanxi province.

Ma, who was a week overdue, was admitted to the Yulin Number One hospital on Aug. 30. She was then transferred to the delivery room the next day but left the room several times due to the unbearable pain she experienced during labor, Strait Times noted.

C-section advice

Due to Ma’s suicide that also resulted in her baby’s death, the hospital and the victim’s family are in conflict on who’s responsible to her death and what led to her suicide.

But based on a statement released by the hospital, Ma’s latest medical check-up showed that her baby’s head was “bigger than normal.”

With the baby’s large head circumference, the doctors advised Ma that a natural birth would be too risky for her, BBC News reported. That is why they suggested that she should undergo a caesarean section to deliver the baby.

Family’s refusal

Even though Ma’s husband, Yan Zhuangzhuang, stated that he immediately agreed when his wife asked him to have a C-section, the hospital claimed that Ma’s family rejected all the requests and advises from her doctor. The family even signed a consent confirming that Ma would deliver the baby via natural childbirth.

Unfortunately, the family’s objection, possibly, led to Ma and her baby’s death when she jumped from the fifth floor hospital window.

Medical staff tried their best to save Ma and her baby but the rescue efforts were unsuccessful. The incident was investigated but the authorities have ruled out any foul play.

Patient’s medical rights

Ma’s unfortunate death and suicide also ignited a debate regarding the medical rights of the patients in China. According to The Independent, China’s Cabinet State Council’s regulation stated that hospitals or medical institutions should get the consent of the patient and the signature of the patient’s family member before carrying out any medical procedure.

Despite the fact that some Chinese citizens assumed that the refusal might be due to financial issues, considering that caesarean is more costly compared to natural delivery, many Chinese took to social media (particularly on Weibo) to express their thoughts on the issue. Some furious commenters even called out to punish Ma’s family for their objection.

Others, on the other hand, slammed China’s law, saying the patient’s opinion mattered most and there’s no need to ask for anyone else’s opinion. Some also added that "maternal views" should be respected, pointing out the sad reality that mothers are often denied the right to speak. Some users also criticized the hospital, asking how and why a patient had managed to commit suicide.

Popularity and consent

Meanwhile, the caesarean section procedure as a childbirth option used to be popular in China.

But due to the abolition of the nation’s One-child policy in October 2015, experts are urging parents to have a second child thus advising women to reconsider having the procedure because of the risks.

Shanghai First Maternity and Infant Hospital gynecologist Dr. Gong Xiaoming, however, stressed the reality that many C-section decisions in the country are made by the patients’ family members and the doctors. But Gong said, “Pregnant women should have the right to decide whether to have a natural birth or C-section.”