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Doctor attacked by deceased woman's family

Updated: 2013-10-23 20:23
By Xu Jingxi (

A doctor at a hospital in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, was beaten up by a patient's family on Monday and suffered serious injuries, which has brought the issue of medical disputes into the spotlight again.

Xiong Xuming, the director of the ICU department of the second affiliated hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, was "suddenly" attacked by the family of a 79-year-old woman who passed away in the department after all rescue measures when he was explaining they were not allowed to take the body home, a doctor and witness surnamed Zhang said at a press conference at the hospital on Tuesday.

Xiong suffered a badly bruised face, bleeding in the spleen and trauma to his kidney. Xie Fuhua, another doctor at the scene, was hit with weights when he tried to stop the fight. Xie suffered a cerebral concussion and soft tissue injuries.

The police have defined the case as intentional injury and held the grandson of the 79-year-old woman in criminal custody. The police are still investigating the case and may arrest more assailants.

One of the family members posted a micro blog on Monday, claiming that it was the doctor who started the fight, but she later deleted it.

Xiong denied the accusation and said he was upset and puzzled why the families attacked him, according to Southern Metropolis Daily.

The daughter and grand daughter-in-law of the 79-year-old woman went to the hospital to apologize to Xiong on Wednesday morning.

It is in accordance with the law that the body of a person who passes away in the ICU should be sent directly to the morgue. However, the family members blocked the transferal after the fight, cursing and threatening medical workers, until the police returned to the hospital. The body therefore stayed in the ward for more than seven hours before being sent to the morgue.

Liao Xinbo, deputy director of the Guangdong provincial commission of health and family planning, strongly condemned the attack as "an unreasonable atrocity". He calls for all of society to pay attention to the issue of medical disputes. He suggested the police establish security rooms in hospitals and that hospitals install CCTV to help solve disputes.

"To avoid conflicts, some hospitals choose to appease patients and their families with money when disputes take place, which has fostered unreasonable or even radical behavior from troublemaking patients and their families," Liao told Yangcheng Evening News.