Child Victims Of China's "Dying Rooms"
Various days of birth - Various days of death
Note: The Find A Grave memorial for these children
was removed. I was not sent any message to let me know
it was being removed or why.


While doing research on another child, I kept seeing a link for a video called "The Dying Rooms". I avoiding clicking on the video because it said there was video footage of children who were simply left to do, because they were born female or disabled. I knew it would crush my heart to see it and hear it an never be able to forget the video. I had to remind myself that I have a mission and that is to memorialize children who have been abused or neglected to death. These children DESERVE to be remembered, though they had no names, no family and in the mind of SOME people in China, no right to live.

In the year 1978, China made a decision that would prove deadly to many children, a law was passed that stated that couples could only have ONE child, though they could apply to have a second child if the first one was either ill, disabled or was a girl. Very few applications were ever approved which meant that MANY children would die unwanted, uncared for and as though they had never even been there.

A male child would receive a celebration, a party that had fireworks and good food, a girl child would receive nothing and often wasn't even kept. Another problem is that in China, the children grow up and take care of the parents in their elderly years. A boy child would marry and he and his wife would be responsible for the care of HIS parents when they were older. A girl child would marry and she would then be obliged to take care of her HUSBANDS parents when they were older. Baby girls are referred to "maggots in the rice" simply because if they are kept, their parents would have to pay to raise them and then when they get married, they will not take care of their parents. It seems to me that China needs to rethink things since it is illegal to actually kill a baby because you don't want it, but it is NOT illegal to abuse and neglect that child to death because you don't want it.

Social Security does not exist in China so the people who kept a girl child would be looking at hard life after she left, they would most likely ended up homeless and starving to death. I find it extremely selfish, cruel and unforgivable that a parent would avoid a horrible fate such as this by abandoning a baby girl or a child who is disabled. How could you treat a child that way? How could ANYONE expect a helpless little Angel child to suffer because they were afraid of suffering themselves?

Since the one child law was enacted, girls have become less desirable because they are not able to carry on the family name after marriage. Boys are considered the better choice because they will carry on the family name. A documentary called "They Dying Rooms" was made by Kate Blewett, Brian Woods and Peter Woolrich who all posed as orphanage workers to get the truth behind the dying rooms. What they documented was pictures and video evidence that the drying rooms really did exist.

In the documentary there is a man who says that if a woman is pregnant for the second time and she has not received permission to be, when the baby is born it is injected with a syringe full of some kind of liquid that kills the baby and then the baby is thrown away. Most of the babies are called Mei Ming, which means no name. One such baby was in a room where she had been left to die, ten days earlier. Still hanging on for life, she had been abandoned by her parents and she died four days after the documentary was filed.

The Chinese Government claims that the dying rooms do not exist and that even though there was video evidence of the rooms in the documentary, it was all made up. Apparently, the Chinese Government doesn't want to look bad to the rest of the world, so they just deny that these horrible things ever happened.

The dying rooms were often located in orphanages where children had been dumped for various reasons. With hundreds of children going into them each year, there is a high death rate and the instances of abuse are also high. Children would be beaten for no reason, having been left at the mercy of the staff. Visitors were rarely allowed inside of the orphanage. Orphans were beaten with sticks and other things and were often hit in the head. Children were made to stand for long periods of time in what was called the airplane position, their hands behind their backs and their feet together, they were not allowed to move or they would be beaten. When the children were given showers, some of them were held upside down in a bucket of water which forced water into their nose and ears and they would end up choking. At times, the children were not allowed to eat dinner. The report said that four out of every five children died within one year of going to the orphanages and the staff was allowed to pick who would die as a means of keeping the population down.

The nurses would hold a meeting to make decision when a new child was taken in, the meeting was decide how they would lower the population, in other words, who is next to die. The chosen child would then be denied food and water during a process known as "jiudi jiejue" or "summary resolution". Children who were the hardest to care for such as those who were handicapped, not walking on their own, not able to feed themselves or had any number of illnesses, were a burden to the nurses and they would be selected to die. After a child died, it was denid that they ever existed.

The three filmmakers saw children who were very thin, their bodies covered in bugs, some without clothing and sores oozing with puss. Of course these children would be unhappy which would bother the staff so the children were given large doses of sleeping pills so they could be left to die quietly. Doctors actually kept track of these children, their weight loss and other details were kept in records that indicated the the different degrees of malnutrition they were suffering from. How could a DOCTOR watch this, keep track and never do anything about it?

One child at the orphanage who had come in as a healthy child, would be seen and that child was now deaf and unable to speak, he eventually died of starvation after having been giving nothing to help ease his pain and suffering. Two years later, pictures taken to a Professor Of Pediatrics from an American University showed that the children were dying in horrible ways and that Professor wanted to know why these children were made to suffer this way, why not just end their lives in a quick way as soon as they are brought in?

In the early 90's word had spread about what was going and it had reached the highest level of Government in Shanghai. A list was made of offenses that were witnessed by a Government team. While visiting one type of abuse that they witnessed was children tied to potty chairs wearing only thin, cotton clothing in the middle of the Winter. Nine children died over several days because of this treatment. After that visit, a change happened in the management at the orphanages and there was a ban on media coverage of the orphanage, there is still about a 50% death rate.

The end result of the documentary revealing the abuse and death was sad. No one has been held accountable for the deaths, abuse and neglect of these children and some of those who were directly responsible have been given promotions with the man who had been in charge of the orphanage being given the position of head of Social Welfare in all of China.

"The Dying Rooms" documentary was shown around the world and people were disgusted and outraged. The documentary won a Peabody award in 1996.


This page was created on August 29, 2014
Deaths Occurred in China

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