16:23 GMT25 February 2020
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    A Chinese doctor in East China's Zhejiang Province was sentenced to two and a half years in jail for infecting five patients with HIV from faulty medical procedures, sparking an online uproar.

    A verdict released on China Judgment Online run by China's Supreme People's Court said Zhao Jinfang, a doctor at the Zhejiang Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Hangzhou, reused one suction tube in extracting lymphocyte on December 30, 2016, which resulted in five women getting HIV. Two of the women were pregnant, news site Caixin reported Monday.

    One hospital patient informed the hospital on January 24, 2017 that her husband had been infected with HIV before getting his blood drawn. Her husband was discovered to be HIV positive in December 2016 after having sex with a "friend," the verdict said.

    Zhao then informed the hospital of his violations that same day, before surrendering to the police days later.

    The Shangcheng district people's court in Hangzhou said Zhao, who confessed and pleaded guilty, should be given a light sentence. Zhao was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for medical malpractice on December 12, 2017.

    Many Chinese netizens said that the sentence was too light, and called for harsher punishment for Zhao for "ruining the lives of five people."

    Ruan Qilin, a professor at the China University of Political Science and Law, said the sentence was reasonable.

    "Zhao was a doctor, which is a legitimate occupation. And what Zhao did was not intentional," Ruan told the Global Times. He said that the punishment would be much harsher if Zhao intentionally violated procedures.

    China's Criminal Law states that medical staff who cause death or injury to patients due to carelessness face up to three years in prison.

    This article originally appeared on the Global Times website


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