Beijing – The fate of a Chinese television presenter who died of cancer after refusing chemotherapy to save her unborn son sparked intense online debate on Friday.
Qiu Yuanyuan died on Wednesday aged 26, 100 days after giving birth to her child – a special occasion in Chinese culture.
More than 10 million netizens viewed her story on China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo on Friday, but many of those commenting questioned why she had sacrificed her life.
“I don’t think it’s good to give up on living, even if the mother’s love is great,” posted one netizen.
“It’s not a beautiful thing if a child is born with no care and love from its natural mother.”
Qiu, from the central province of Henan, was told she was pregnant in March, the website of the People’s Daily newspaper said.
But her “hope turned to despair” soon after when she was diagnosed with a late-stage cancer of the womb, it went on.
Qiu decided to halt her treatment to prevent her baby being harmed, and the cancer soon spread.
As her condition worsened, she was admitted to hospital in September when she gave birth to the boy, named Niannian.
She eventually died as the family were celebrating his 100th day.
“Leaving a little life alone in the world, such a heartless mother,” another netizen said.
Others, however, were more sympathetic to her plight.
“Even chemotherapy cannot cure cancer, can it? So she chose this way, wise and helpless,” said one poster.
Another added: “Mother’s love is so great.”