Mother faces criminal charges after death of abandoned baby

By Pham Du   June 30, 2020 | 12:59 am PT
Hanoi police on Tuesday arrested a woman for abandoning her newborn boy, who later died.

Pham Thi Thanh, 31, is being investigated for "murdering or abandoning a newborn child," police said, a day after her son, abandoned right after birth near a manhole in Son Tay Town, died of septic shock following 21 days of intensive care at Hanoi's Saint Paul Hospital.

She could receive a penalty of up to two years' community service or between three months and two years’ imprisonment, according to Vietnam's Penal Code.

Pham Thi Thanh is held at police station in Son Tay Town after her abandoned baby boy dies on June 29, 2020. Photo courtesy of Hanoi Police.

Pham Thi Thanh is held at a police station in Son Tay Town, Hanoi, after her abandoned baby boy died on June 29, 2020. Photo courtesy of Hanoi Police.

Thanh told police she caught a bus from downtown Hanoi to Son Tay on June 6. Around 11 p.m. the same day, she fell into labor, walked alone to a vegetable field next to a temple in Thanh My Commune, and gave birth to a boy.

She said she was unable to raise the child, so she abandoned the boy near a deserted manhole behind the temple.

Two days later, local residents found the suffering, naked boy and took him to the Saint Paul Hospital for emergency care.

Doctors treated the baby with antibiotics, who responded well to treatment. Medics subsequently named him Nguyen Van An, which means peace and safety, hoping he would soon recover.

However, his condition soon deteriorated due to a serious blood infection. Doctors worked closely with experts from the National Pediatrics Hospital, but were unable to save the child.

Thanh told the police she had had sex with many men recently and didn’t know who the boy's father was.

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