A Chinese woman killed herself after her in-laws did not allow her to have a caesarean operation. The 26-year-old woman jumped from a hospital window.

A doctor at the hospital told a Chinese newspaper that the woman had left the ward twice, and had told her family that the pain was unbearable. She had wanted a caesarean section, but her family wasn’t allowing the procedure.

In China, medical staff must seek permission from a patient’s family members before carrying out major surgical procedures. This means that the patient cannot take responsibility of her own treatment and decide its course.

She was 41 weeks pregnant and her doctors had said that her baby’s large foetal head circumference meant that vaginal delivery would be very risky. But when informed of the matter, the family said that they understood, but did not want the surgery

“Knowing my wife’s character, I did not think she would have had such a strong reaction,” the woman’s husband told Beijing Youth Daily.

Chinese social media is speaking out about how the woman was not allowed to make her own decision.

“A pregnant woman knows her own situation, why isn’t her own signature enough?” said a user called FreedomMarciaLeyuan. Her post received over 10,000 likes. Another user said “We should reflect on why mothers do not have the right to speak. Maternal views should be respected.” 

When China had the one-child policy, Caesarean sections used to be favoured. Now that the one child policy has been abolished, the state is advocating natural births because they carry less risk for future pregnancies.

Video footage showed that the woman got so desperate that she even knelt in front of her family, begging them to agree to a C-section. 

Also Read: Chinese Facility For New Mothers To Relax After Giving Birth