Filial Son Euthanizes Sick Mother, Given Suspended Sentence

Deng Mingjian is at the court.

Deng Mingjian is on his way to the court.

From QQ:

Sichuan Man Buys Pesticide to Help Euthanize Gravely Ill Mother, Given Suspended Sentence

May 16th of last year, Guangzhou City Fanyu District Shiji County local police received a report from Deng Mingjian, who claimed that his mother Li X died a natural death in their rented apartment, but the preliminary autopsy by the police showed that Li died of organophosphorus poisoning. Afterward, Deng Jianming confessed, that it was at his mother’s request that he purchased pesticide to help his mother commit “euthanasia”. After the crime, this case became a focus of attention for different sectors of society. 2012 May 30th, the People’s Court of Fanyu District made the first judgment on this “case of matricide”, sentencing Deng Mingjian to three years in prison for intentional homicide, suspended for four years. Photo [above] is of Deng Mingjian being taken to the court, 2012 May 30th.

Deng Mingjian is at the court.

After the crime, voices of sympathy arose from many people who were close to Deng Mingjian. First, it was his two older sisters and his younger brother who all said they understood [why he did this], and wrote a letter pleading for leniency in the sentencing of Deng Mingjian. Ten of his factory coworkers jointly signed a statement submitted to the Public Security Bureau, also in hopes of leniency. From his hometown of Jinzi village in Langzhong county of Sichuan province, dozens of his household friends and family collectively signed a request that Deng Mingjian be given a light sentence. This picture is of 2012 May 30th, of Deng Jianming receiving his sentence from the court for helping his mother with euthanasia.

Deng Mingjian's wife is at the court.

This reporters learned that Deng Minjian is from a rural area of Sichuan, has two older sisters and a younger brother. Because the family is poor, his brother never found a spouse to get married until he was 30 and ultimately married into his wife’s family [as opposed to his wife marrying into his family]. His two sisters got married locally, their financial circumstances also not very good. In 1991, his mother had a sudden stroke, and half her body was paralyzed. His mother’s everyday treatment was mainly shouldered by Deng Mingjian and his family. In 1995, Deng Mingjian’s wife came to Panyu to work, but Deng Mingjian remained in his hometown to look after their child and both his parents. In 2000, his wife had surgery for a serious illness, which cost a lot of money, and along with their son’s school expenses, Deng Mingjian had to stop his long years of farming at home while simultaneously looking after his parents to also go to Guangzhou to work in order to earn more money to take care of the family. Throughout this period of time where they were out working, Deng Mingjian and his wife would mail 500 yuan back to their parents every month for living expenses and medical care. After entering vocational school, their son also needed 500 yuan per month. This picture is of Deng Mingjian’s wife Hua Suying in court, on 2012 May 30th.

Deng Mingjian is receiving his sentence.

Deng Mingjian’s brother testified that when his father was still alive, his mother often asked him and his father to buy pesticide to help her commit suicide. The village head said that after Deng’s mother had two strokes in 1991 and 1996, she once asked Deng’s father to help her up to go jump into a well [to commit suicide]. Another fellow-villager of Deng Mingjian’s also testified “Deng’s mother often said she wanted to die, even asked her son to buy poison for her to drink. Deng’s mother never said anything bad about Deng Mingjian, instead always saying that she felt sorry for him [for the burdens she placed upon him].” Deng Mingjian’s cousin said that 10 days before the crime, Deng Mingjian’s mother complained asking why the god wouldn’t accept her [let her die]. This picture is of Deng Mingjian is receiving his sentence.

Deng Mingjian is getting a interview.

2012 May 30th, after the sentencing, Deng Mingjian ended his year-long detention. He changed into the red T-shirt and white pants his wife had brought him and his previously terrified and wooden expression now turning a bit more tranquil. Holding his wife, he walked out of the crowd of people surrounding him. This picture is of Deng Mingjian after after changing into a red T-shirt being interviewed by the media outside the court.

Deng Mingjian is in the outfits his wife brought him.

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This picture is of Deng Mingjian walking out of court after after changing into a red T-shirt, being interviewed by the media, 2012 May 30th.

The meida is interviewing Deng Mingjian’s attorney.

This picture is of Deng Mingjian’s attorney Tang Chengkui expressing that he is extremely satisfied with the sentence result, which also met his expectations. “Strictly speaking, this case is not about euthanasia in a complete sense, as it was only due to Deng Mingjian’s limited knowledge and ignorance of the law that this tragedy happened.”

Comments from QQ:

腾讯成都市网友 鏐鏐:

Can we say this isn’t his fault and is a tragedy caused by society? If the medical treatment expenses weren’t that expensive, would it be like this???

腾讯网友 Me'mr.Up. :

Frankly, for his mother, this is also a kind of liberation!! What can you say, sigh, China’s law is still imperfect. If we look at it from a humanistic perspective, he did this in order to ease his mother’s pain, and presumably his mother also felt she was a heavy burden on the family while alive, so if it was me, I too would be willing to die. Instead of living like this, it’d be better to die in order to lessen the burden for the entire family. But the law currently doesn’t allow doing this. If we look at it from the perspective of China’s current national conditions, if China’s law were to allow euthanasia, then many people would exploit loopholes in the law to commit crimes of murder. I express sympathy for Deng Mingjian, hope he can live happily, hope his mother in heaven can bless him with a life both safe and sound. The above are all personal opinions.

腾讯攀枝花市网友 己奴:

Very brave. What he had to bear was too much!!!

腾讯成都市网友 ﹎,懒骨頭 、:

If medical insurance can be improved, who’d want to drink pesticide? Do you really think it’s sweet?

腾讯成都市网友 123:

Who can afford to be in a hospital these days, with the medical expenses so high? If people don’t commit euthanasia, giving their money to the hospital, in the end it’s they end up losing both life and money. May I ask which impoverished person can afford to go to big hospitals? This isn’t his fault. As for who should bear responsibility for this, I trust everyone already knows.

腾讯网友 萧寒:

Won’t legalize “euthanasia”, and rather watch patients “live a life worse than death”, this policy is so…

腾讯德阳市网友 超越:

Reading this made me choked up! Those living on the lowest levels of society really have it hard. This too is a tragedy of not knowing basic laws!

腾讯四川省网友 爱是有晴天:

The sentence is reasonable, no grounds for blame/criticism. Meanwhile a heads-up for other people to know more about the law.

腾讯网友 寓言:

Us Sichuan people are all filial, thank you your honor for the lenient sentence. To say something from the bottom of my heart, his mother really was miserable, her body paralyzed, not even having the power to choose death for herself. You never got to see just how carefully uncle [Deng] looked after his mother. Sigh, a tragedy, really.

腾讯成都市网友 繁双鬓:

Our society doesn’t allow euthanasia! This is so that hospitals can squeeze patients’ bone dry, then stop treatment, throw them out of the hospital, and let patients die a slow death in extreme agony. How can they let common folks who can’t afford to stay in the hospitals have euthanasia? It’s the rules of our society! Of course the filial son should be sentenced.

Comments from Sina:

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Isn’t it time for China’s law to consider allowing euthanasia?!


These people haven’t experienced it, and don’t know a family members’ misery: My mother had osteocarcinoma [bone cancer], even dolantin injection wouldn’t sooth the pain. I begged everyone I met to recommend medicine for her… suffered for half a year, and when she was gone she was just skinny bones. My grandmother was over eighty, paralyzed, and died after drinking the poison she hoarded for two years. My other grandmother was over eighty, lied in bed for half a year, couldn’t find any poison, but still managed to kill herself by strangling herself with the bed sheets… Whereas my mother died of pain and hunger! My two grandmothers suffered to death! Can you say that keeping them alive is loving them? You watch their suffering and torment with your very own eyes. That’s why I always say that my heart aches for those who died from injuries in the Wenchuan Earthquake. What extreme agony they must have suffered before they died!


When living is worse than death, not allowing them to die is also cruel.


The poor don’t have the money for medical treatment nor the right to choose death.


The government is responsible too. In the city, even stray cats and dogs receive care and treatment. But for the elderly in rural areas, who cares about their pain and suffering?


When there is no cure and the patient is great pain, I support euthanasia.


Although its said bedridden parents make a son unfilial, him persevering for 20 long years is something we admire. We should ask ourselves how long we could endure if it were us. Too expensive to see a doctor, too difficult to see a doctor! I think this is also one of the reasons.


Looking after his paralyzed mother for 18 years, why would such a filial son in the end buy her mother pesticide for euthanasia? Shouldn’t a country that spends hundreds of billions each year on government vehicle expenses think about it really hard? If the financial costs of seeing a doctor weren’t that heavy, or there were rest/nursing homes everywhere that were affordable for the common people, would sons and daughters still do this?


Instead of living in pain, why can’t someone choose euthanasia? I don’t understand. When all life has to offer is pain, why continue living to suffer?


I understand his mother. Fact is, nobody is afraid of death, but everybody is afraid of suffering, the law should permit euthanasia. Especially for those with cancer, when living becomes worse than death, it’s better off to die.


Euthanasia should be carried out, to ease the pain of patients who can’t be cured. It is because I have seen such things in the hospital that I express such sentiments!!!


Yes to euthanasia, I think he shouldn’t be punished.


Allowing euthanasia is what is truly humane.

What do you think?

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Written by Peter Barefoot

Peter is a born and raised Chengdunese who enjoys drinking with all his friends.

  • Little Wolf

    First. sinocidal style

    • Little Wolf

      Why do so many Chinese suicide with pesticides? There are more pleasant ways to go. Even cheaper. You can get 20 Xanax or Valiums for around 2 yuan.

      • Alan

        I thought anti depressants/relaxants/sleeping pills were not available OTC in China, or are you taking knock offs or fakes here?

        Just curious?


        • Little Wolf

          Not over the counter, although I have had a pharmacy just give me a couple over the counter once when I just asked for anything to help me sleep and I would have settled for melatonin or some kind of tea. But normally, you need a prescription but doctors will usually only give you 7 to 14 pills. Enough to put you to sleep for awhile but not a normally lethal dose if some college girl just broke up with her boyfriend and wanted to kill herself.

          • Alan

            Cheers, will try this next time.

        • Fraser

          Nembutal is easy enough to get in China, that will kill you very quickly and easily.

  • Jeff

    Take my wife… PLEASE!

    • Stacy

      That’s why euthanasia is ILLEGAL in most countries, to prevent people prematurely ending the live of another, for non-humane purposes.

      Surely, people have the fundamental right to life, or the absence of it. However, a society would create greater net benefit to infringe upon such right, because it will protect the vulnerable ones from a pillow in the face.

  • dim mak

    Euthanasia should be legal everywhere.

    • Alan

      Well, well, well.

      We are discussing, now WOT SAYETH THEE FORMER COLONIAL LAD!!!!!

      • mr. wiener

        You really are missing Elijiah aren’t you?

    • Jay

      It would certainly make it easier to murder someone and get away with it.

      • dim mak

        Probably, but I imagine they’d have some kind of system set up in hospitals or something

  • Lol…the two poll options mean the same thing…

    • Jay K.

      yeah I saw that too, chinasmack can you change it? i’d vote for yes lgalize euthanasia that my opinion. Custer, did rui sue you properly yet and if it has been taken to court, you going to style up in self defense mode with the patented Chen Guangcheng glasses. Those glasses are the “Matlock” of the law industry

      • david

        chinasmack is saying, no, euthanasia is illegal.

        • Sorry, my mistake. :( It has been fixed.

    • Small Bean

      Voting….Chinese style.
      Look see, we have democracy, everyone gets to vote that it is illegal!

  • Smarty

    The poll reminds of a dialogue from “Friends”:
    Rachel: “Ok, Joey, let’s do this again – heads I win, tails you lose”
    Joey: “Just do it …”

  • Alanood Burhaima

    Oh! What a poor creature, it must have been hard on him since it involved a decision to end a life of a loved one.
    I just voted that it should be legal though I can’t help but think of all the people who would feed their parents poison without their knowledge.

    • Kong

      There are plenty of ways to determine that it is the will of the dead, not murder.

  • Interested

    Bad poll with both choice as illegal.

    Yes, it should be illegal ?
    yes, it should remain illegal?

  • filabusta

    Sofa king sad.

  • Notorious

    glad the man is free. for some reason this story doesn’t meet my interest today.

  • B

    The poll is confusing… both answers say it should be illegal…

    • Sorry. It has been fixed. However, the question asks if it should be legalized. If you answer Yes, then it should be legal. If you answer No, then it should remain illegal. Hope everyone who already voted used this logic.

  • staylost

    Yes, euthanasia should be legal everywhere, but only under careful counseling and supervision (still costs money).

  • Jahar

    The problem is, there’s no proof she wanted to die. Laws have to be based on facts, right? She could have just been some mean old bitch and they planned it together.

    I’m not saying this is true, but I’m saying this is why we need to use facts, and not just rumors and hearsay. Otherwise that guy that ripped me off that week is gonna get euthanized.

  • Castro

    That man with the strong tastes over in Poutine Land was just practicing the latest trend… involuntary euthanasia.
    Accompanied with some Fava beans and a nice Chianti…

    • mr. wiener

      I remember what was so disturbing about his photo now…He looks like an Evil Justin Bieber.

  • XiaoHei

    There is too much pain in this world…

    The Redundant Poll: Making us believe that our opinions matter

  • Rick in China

    “Holding his wife, he walked out of the crowd of people surrounding him.”
    If you look at the photos when this description seems to take place, you wouldn’t even know which is his wife. It looks like they’re miles apart, maybe he will look for a new wife with his new found freedom and internet fame – his wife is f’ugly as a m’fer and looks ~10 years older than him.

    • the ace of books

      “his wife is f’ugly as a m’fer and looks ~10 years older than him.”

      Which is relevant how? Not particularly polite, to boot. Obviously he married her, so he probably doesn’t agree with your assessment (emphasis on “ass”).

      • Mao Ze Shenme Dong Dong

        decent camel toe though

  • Lort

    Very similar to R. v. Latimer 1997 in Canada, except that was a father who euthanized his daughter.

  • gotta get their priorities straight

  • Xiongmao

    Unfortunately in a developing country like China there will be people ready to take advantage of such laws. We’re heard plenty of stories of poor families where people aren’t really seen as anything but a burden and certain family members -often the ones married into it- will have no quarrel trying to kill off a burden if they can get away with it. Sounds cruel? Hell yeah, but that’s the reality for SOME poor and uneducated Chinese. I do support euthanasia but it needs to be heavily controlled and supervised, especially in a country like China.

  • crazy been

    well, i think the law cant charge this case any more, its like that movie “you dont know jake” , there is no anyway else he can do for her.

  • Ming

    Its should be legal for people who are suffering serious illness that can not be treated. This guy is very brave and so glad the judges saw this also, wish him and his family all the best.

    Death can be an act of kindness sometime.