A Chinese obstetrician admitted in court to stealing babies from a hospital in the Shaanxi province and selling them to human traffickers.
Zhang Shuxia, 55, who stood trial on Monday, admitted to convincing parents to sign over their children by claiming they had congenital disorders.
The formerly respected, soon-to-be retired doctor was indicted for selling seven babies, including a set of twins, from November of 2011 to July of 2013.
The traffickers allegedly sold the children to “couples” in central and eastern China.
Authorities rescued six of the stolen babies. One of the newborns, sold in April for just $165, later died.
The state-run Xinhua News agency said Zhang was reported when a mother suspected her child had been abducted at the Fuping County Maternal and Child Hospital.
Zhang reportedly took that baby home and sold him that very night to a man in a neighboring province for $3,600. That man sold the child for $9,900 to a villager in central China.
That baby was recovered and taken back to his real family in August.
The Beijing Times newspaper asked for a “fair punishment” for Zhang to deter other medical professionals from similar acts of corruption.
“It will inject the authoritativeness of law into professional ethics of doctors and will warn doctors not to take the wrong step that brings them lifelong regret,” the paper said.