Baby in China dies while doctor plays online game

AP News
Posted: Nov 13, 2009 1:36 AM

A 5-month-old baby died in a hospital amid pleas for help from his parents while his doctor played video games online in eastern China, health authorities said Friday.

An investigation showed Dr. Mao Xiaojun was playing an online version of "Go" on the night shift and did not take the parents' pleas for help seriously, the Jiangsu province health department said in a press release.

"When efforts were being made to save the baby, the mother got on her knees in the doorway of the ear, nose and throat department and pleaded for help," the statement said.

The baby died the next morning, Nov. 4, from complications caused by an eye infection, the statement said. Officials at the state-run Nanjing Children's Hospital could not be reached for comment.

The department's statement said Mao "covered up the truth" in an initial investigation. But more probing found that she had been playing "Go" on an instant messaging system, the statement said.

Mao was stripped of her medical license and fired, and the hospital head and several staffers were disciplined.

The health department looked into the baby's death after complaints about the doctor playing online games hit the Internet.