Yue Yue, a two-year-old toddler, was run over twice by a van, once more by a truck, and ignored by 18 passersby as she lay bleeding in the middle of a market street in China.
The incident took place on Oct. 13, near Yue Yue's family's shop in the city of Foshan, located in China's Guangdong province. Since then, the story along with the highly disturbing surveillance video stirred controversies around the world.
Wang Yue, nicknamed Yue Yue, is in a deep coma and clinically brain dead, despite some signs of recovery shown earlier this week, according to China's news agency Xinhua. The toddler's mother blogged about Yue Yue's improving condition, but the hospital's head of neurosurgery said that she is likely to remain in a vegetative state if she survives, according to the Guangzhou Daily.
In the video clip showing Yue Yue lying on the street and ferociously bleeding, some people who passed by were shown completely ignoring the suffering victim, while others paused to look but passed by without helping. A second truck hit her, and until a woman finally helped the toddler it took as long as 7 minutes. The 58-year old street cleaner Chen Xianmei lifted the lifeless body and alerted Yue Yue's mother who was nearby.
Both drivers who ran over the girl have been arrested, according to Xinhua.
And today, as Yue Yue remains in a critical condition as she was declared clinically brain dead, the incident caught in a video is garnering global attention and outrage, as it highlights China's rotten morality that may be well represented by a Nanjing judge as many recalled.
They didn't ignore the girl, they just didn't dare help her, said one Chinese netizen.
If one were to encounter a Nanjing judge, one would be screwed, said another.
Nanjing judge refers to a notorious precedent in China dates back to 2006, when a young man Peng Yu volunteered to help an elderly woman who had fallen down on a street in Nanjing. After bringing her to the hospital, the woman rewarded her Good Samaritan with a turnaround - she accused him for knocking her down. The case was ruled out by a Nanjing judge according to common sense, which, apparently not universal, suggested that Yu helped her only because he was guilty. Yu was eventually ordered to pay the woman's medical expenses.
This incident led to the further discouragement from being a Good Samaritan in the fastest growing economic giant of today. Chinese citizens have since then been warned not to help others, for no good deed goes unpunished, as ABC News puts it.
China's distorted culture that compensates indifference was further exacerbated by the fear of encountering another Nanjing judge. The heartbreaking incident has only brought to light the nation's countless victims, who want to avoid the surging healthcare costs and inadequate laws for the scandals.
According to an an online survey by Hong Kong-based Phoenix Television, fewer than 7% of 20,000 respondents said they would stop while driving to offer help, according to the Guardian, while over 45% said they would turn a blind eye and 43% said they would help only if there was a camera.
A friend of mine went to China on business three years ago. He was met by Chinese businessmen in a driver driven car. As they were driving in heavy traffic he was shocked to see a body lying beside the road. It was a woman who had been hit and killed by a car. No one was dealing with it. He pointed it out to his companions. They told him not to worry the police would come and 'collect' the body in due course. That was in morning. In the late afternoon they drove back the same route and he saw the body still lying there. My friend decided not to do business with a country that was so casual about the death of a human. My father spent five years in the East. He always said that life was very cheap there, reads one comment on Daily Mail, posted by Klee Wick from Haidi Gwaii.