Woman, 34, trapped in China psychiatric ward for a decade, family refuses to sign her out

A 34-year-old woman in China – who was admitted to a psychiatric hospital when she was 20 – remained confined for more than 10 years after she had recovered because her family refused to release her.

The incident came to light via an anonymous online post by a person with inside information who revealed that the woman was initially sent to Xiamen Xianyue Hospital in Fujian province, southeastern China, by her parents.

Despite meeting the discharge criteria and her repeated pleas for release, she remained there because they refused to sign the discharge documents.

Red Star News reported that the insider, whose wife suffers from bipolar disorder and had been treated at the same hospital since 1996, took him to meet the young woman.

“About four or five years ago, when I went to visit my wife, a young woman greeted me, saying she recognised me. I then learned that we were from the same village,” he said.

The woman could not leave the facility because her family refused to sign the documents required for her release. Photo: Shutterstock

“The doctor told me she had recovered and could be discharged, but her family never came to take her home.”

The man later contacted the woman’s aunt, who claimed there was “some family dispute” and suggested her parents might not want her released immediately.

The matter resurfaced on May 22 this year when the man was at the hospital to process his wife’s discharge.

“My wife said that during her hospitalisation, the young woman often helped nurses distribute food and assisted with other tasks at the hospital. She told my wife that doctors said she no longer needed medication and was basically like a regular person,” the man said.

Motivated by her plight, he filed a complaint on May 23 through the Xiamen Municipal People’s Government’s service hotline, asking the Xiamen Women’s Federation to help the woman.

Hospital staff and the women’s federation confirmed that the woman met the discharge standards.

However, because her admission was involuntary, her discharge required her family’s consent, which was declined despite multiple attempts.

On June 6, the women’s federation revealed they had a conversation with the woman’s mother, who claimed her daughter was now the responsibility of her father, and would not discuss the issue.

“Due to the special nature of the woman’s illness, we sought information about other contacts through her doctor and have already reached out to her uncle, who is discussing the matter with her father to improve communication,” a member of the federation’s staff said.

However, the director of the Gaodian Residential Committee in Xiamen, where the woman lived previously, said: “The situation is not, as some online information suggests, that ‘her parents do not care about her’.

“Her father has been covering her hospital expenses through her uncle, which wouldn’t have been sustainable otherwise. The specifics involve too much personal information and are not convenient to disclose in detail.”

On June 12, the woman was finally discharged from the hospital. She was given a job in property management and provided with help to adapt to living in society again.

The plight of the woman has sparked a wave of anger on mainland social media. Photo: Shutterstock

The original post from the man whose wife was in the same hospital has been deleted, and the complaint information on the Xiamen Municipal Government official website is no longer accessible.

It is unclear whether the woman will get any compensation.

The case provoked outrage on mainland social media.

“How terrifying! How many decades does one have in a lifetime?” said one person.

“Can she sue her parents? 10 years! She was admitted at 20 and only got out at 34, wasting her most valuable years in a psychiatric hospital just because of family disputes. How can such people be parents?” asked another.



Read More

Leave a Reply