South China Morning Post By Stephen Chen Sun., Nov.22, 2015
A farmer in eastern China was arrested for pushing his mentally ill son down a well and stoning him to death last month, mainland media reports.
The 46-year father, from Ruzhou, Shandong province, admitted to police that he took his son to the well on October 3, fed him pesticide, then kicked him into the well and dropped stones and cement blocks on his head, the China Youth Daily reports.
The father, who was not named, said his 18-year-old son was frequently violent, which was a threat to other family members.
China had the world’s largest number of mental patients. A study published in the medical journal Lancet earlier this year said more than 170 million people – over 13 per cent of China’s population – suffered some form of mental illness, and that most had never received professional treatment.
The central government had been accused of turning a blind eye to the issue. More than 90 per cent of mentally ill patients do not go to hospital because the government refuses to subsidise their costly treatment, according to some mainland studies.
Under Chinese law, the responsibility of taking care of the mentally ill falls entirely on their families, many of whom simply cannot afford it.
Mentally ill patients are not sent to hospitals or institutionalised unless they kill or injure someone, according to government regulations.
Those who are hospitalised are often overdosed with drugs or endure violent treatment such as electrical therapy, often performed by unqualified staff, according to some mainland news reports.
Some unscrupulous hospitals use excessive treatments to overcharge the patients and their families.
Below the well in which the son was thrown and stoned.