Doctor Sentenced to Death for Stealing and Selling Newborns

A doctor convicted of selling at least seven newborns to human traffickers was sentenced to death on Tuesday.

Zhang Shuxia, an obstetrician in China's Shaanxi province, told new parents that their babies had serious diseases or developmental disorders and convinced them to give them up for adoption. Zhang then sold the infants to human traffickers, who would turn around and resell them for higher profits. From the Associated Press:

In a July case, Zhang pocketed 21,600 yuan ($3,600) when she passed a baby boy to a human trafficker, who resold the child for 59,800 yuan ($9,900) to a couple in central China's Henan province.

"Zhang used her position as medical personnel to fabricate reports about the infants, saying they suffered from birth defects or diseases that were hard to cure," the Chinese court said in its judgement. "She abducted and sold several new-born infants, violating professional and social ethics."

Six of the babies were rescued and returned to their parents, but one infant—a girl—died.

Zhang's was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve. In China, death sentences with two-year reprieves are usually commuted to life imprisonment.

[Image via Getty]