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China Letter-News and Human Rights

China human rights news with focus on the Uygur of Xinjiang, Tibetans and Tibet, Chinese mining workers, religion, corruption and censorship.

Friday, April 09, 2004

The most Basic Of Human Rights? - Life

Human Rights Dove
" Doctors in China caused the stillbirth of a baby and left its mother in critical condition Sunday because she could not afford to pay for emergency care. "

China's Medical system does not have a "safety net" like so many others. If you are wealthy you are ok if you are in the employ of the Government you are ok if you are a migrant worker in China with only $37 to pay a major medical bill your life is not worth it.

This story is about a migrant worker in China whose child was delivered still born and who almost lost her own life because two doctors and an ambulance that arrived to her emergency delivery turned around and went home when she did not have the money to pay the bill.

Human Rights is not only about political dissidents being denied natural justice or being incarcerated for life., or bloggers being shutdown. It is not only about religious persecution or whether you have the right to vote.

The most basic of Human Rights is the right to life. Those who deny life are the most base of Human Rights violators.

When China is spoken of lately it is in the glowing terms of her great advances in human rights reforms. "China is guaranteeing private ownership of property" " China is guaranteeing Human rights in the Constitution". "China is executing less people." "the government is recognising the rights of beggars not to be arrested and deported to their home provinces"

These things are good and China is to be applauded, but when the rest of the world says we are not going to support the Americans with their Resolution at Geneva because China is getting better then they are making one hell of a mistake.

Are there degrees of human rights violations? If I rob you for $10 instead of $20 am I any less a criminal.

Do we have a "benchmark" and say ok those guys have reached it so let's forget criticising them and in doing that stop encouraging them to greater heights?

A child is denied the basic human right, the right to life because his mother is an impoverished migrant worker that the system does not recognise as human enough to get free medical treatment in such a grave emergency.

This is not an isolated case, people die in China daily not only from a "bullet in the back of the head" or "pneumonia" in a work prison, or falling down the steps of a police station or by being trampled by a bulldozer pleading for their homes.

They die also because this wonderful economic powerhouse, this miracle of industrialization does not value the sanctity of life enough to invest the money to guarantee even the most basic of medical rights to the poor and impoverished.

They say of their treatment of the Uygur, the Tibetans and of religious groups that the welfare of the few should not endanger the welfare of the many. They say they have to act like this because they face "unique problems" as a developing nation and as one so populous that we in the west can not comprehend.

There is some mitigation there of course but does it not say something about the "corporate culture" of a nation when two doctors at the scene of an emergency can turn around, walk away and let a child die because the family had no money and the system allows it.

"Don't criticise us" the Chinese say "Look what we are doing, look how great we are" "Why does the United States involve themselves in our internal affairs?" "Why do you propose this resolution?"

Why, because one of the reasons is your culture allows innocent children to die and this is a the ultimate reflection of your how civilised you are.

But perhaps you would call that child a "separatist" because he certainly is no longer a part of your great nation.


(United Press International):