Man sentenced to death for murdering a doctor over medical dispute in Beijing
Published: Jan 16, 2020 03:38 PM

General Hospital of CAAC Photo: Sina Weibo

A man who was convicted of murdering a doctor in front of horrified colleagues in a Beijing hospital emergency room was sentenced to death on Thursday, as outraged netizens flooded social media with condemnation of all forms of violence against medical workers.

Sun Wenbin, the son of a patient, murdered doctor Yang Wen at Civil Aviation General Hospital by stabbing in her neck on Christmas Eve 2019.

According to media reports, Sun believed the condition of his 95-year-old mother worsened because Yang had allegedly given her the wrong medication. He was upset because Yang declined his family's plea to transfer his mother from an emergency ward to an inpatient ward, which would help them save money under China's public health insurance system.

The tragedy spurred public outrage on Chinese internet, with netizens denouncing the murder and calling for serious punishment of anyone who uses violence against medical workers.

Sun was sentenced to death for intentional homicide, according to the ruling of the Third Intermediate People's Court of Beijing.

Although Sun voluntarily confessed to the murder, his crime was extremely cruel, said the court. 

Many netizens hailed the sentence and expressed concern and sympathy for Yang's family.

"The death penalty [is proper justice], but nothing will bring Doctor Yang back to her family…" wrote a Sina Weibo user with an emoji of a broken heart.

China's top legislature approved a Basic Healthcare and Health Promotion Law four days after Yang's death which prohibits any organization or individual from threatening or endangering the safety of medical staff. The law will take effect on June 1.