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First Test-tube Baby Suit Ended
A woman who claimed doctors provided "faulty and negligent" infertility treatment lost her case in Shantou, Guangdong Province of South China, Wednesday.

The woman, a master of medicine surnamed Jiang, also accused the Number 1 Hospital affiliated to the Medical School of Shantou University of Irregularities during the process of treatment between July and December 1999.

Her claim is the Chinese mainland's first case involving a test-tube baby operation.

She asked the Shantou Intermediate People's Court to award her 2.14 million yuan (US$260,000) in damages to be paid by the hospital.

However, Chief Judge Li Jianlong awarded her just 8,657 yuan (US$1,047) after a panel of medical experts told the court the operation had been conducted in a scientific and standard way.

The court heard the embryo had been implanted correctly in the womb during the operation in September 1999. Its subsequent death was said to result from later complications and was not a medical accident.

Jiang could not claim compensation for the severe abdominal distension and mental damage she suffered days after the embryo was implanted because her contract with hospital states the risks and possible complications clearly, Chief Judge Li said.

The 8,657 yuan paid to Jiang was for her meals and traffic fees, as well as other charges paid while she was in hospital, Li said.

Test-tube baby technology is in great demand in China. There are 200 medical centers across the country offering infertility treatment. Experts suggest test-tube baby technology should be promoted to bring happiness to more sterile couples, and the government should enact related laws and regulations.

(China Daily April 17, 2003)

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