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Mystery surrounding stitched anus remains unsolved

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Shenzhen Evening News, July 30, 2010

News that woman in Shenzhen having her anus "stitched closed" by her midwife during her cesarean delivery touched a chord with the public whose discontent to the current health care system often lead them to assume the worst when it comes to doctors' ethics.

The woman's husband affirmed that the midwife sealed his wife's rectum in retribution for their failure to come up with a more generous bribe; the midwife countered that she might have overstepped the boundaries as a midwife to tie up the patient's bleeding hemorrhoid, but by doing so she only meant to do good.

A panel of medical experts were called upon to investigate into the case, but evidence is insufficient to support either claim.

What is clear is that prior to the woman's labor, her husband gave an envelop containing 100 yuan to the midwife, who accepted it. The envelope with money was later discovered in the patient's cabinet. However, the two sides differ in when and under what circumstances the money was returned, and what the midwife meant when asking the couple whether they were "prepared."

The midwife claimed that she initially took the money out of politeness only to realize it was wrong, so she returned it the next day, while the husband claimed that the midwife returned the money after he threatened legal action. As to the exact meaning of the contentious "have you prepared" (准备好了吗?), the husband believed that bribe was implied while the midwife insisted she was just asking whether the couple were ready for the C-section. In addition, the husband also accused the midwife of destroying evidence by tearing the stitches open under the pretense of giving his wife a massage.

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