CHINA> Regional
Test-tube operation telecast sparks disputes
Updated: 2009-01-06 15:24

A recent live webcast of an artificial insemination operation on in southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region has triggered heated dispute in cyberspace over the protection of the patient's privacy.

In this snapshot of the video clip that telecasts the artificial insemination operation on December 27 last year was shown the patient undergoing the operation. []

The Guangxi net TV website and the People's Hospital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region co-broadcast the surgery live on December 27 last year. In their 28-minute video clip, every detail of the test-tube process was exposed to the web audience, Chengdu Evening News reported on Tuesday.

Many viewers gave the program a thumb up, the first of its kind in China, saying it marks not only a milestone in science, but also a shift in people's mindset .

However, some netizens were against the broadcast, questioning the responsibility of the hospital and the website in respecting the privacy of patients.

An anonymous user was quoted by the newspaper suggesting that the hospital should not compromise the privacy of patients in order to publicize itself. While another user from the community of, one of China's leading online portals, suggested such programs be stopped for the sake of the baby-to-be.

Jin Xiumei, director of the health channel of, who initiated the telecast, defended the program, claiming it was supposed to popularize the test-tube technology as few in China know much about the operation.

Jin also ruled out any information leak, adding that their website and the hospital had signed an privacy agreement with the patient before the surgery.

First launched in the early 1980s, the artificial insemination operation in China has developed rapidly in recent years with ten sperm banks established in major domestic cities and provinces. However, it is still a thorny issue in the eyes of many Chinese for the fear of privacy infringement and ethical problems.