by Steven Ertelt
August 1, 2007
Sydney, Australia (LifeNews.com) — A man who specialized in traditional Chinese medicine and illegally passed himself off as a doctor in Australia has promised to close his office in order to get a lighter sentence from the courts. Yao Guo Lin is also accused of illegally distributing the dangerous abortion drug RU 486 and could face up to one year in jail.
Officials eventually caught Lin in an undercover sting operation when an investigator employed by the NSW Medical Board, filmed a transaction with him at his "clinic" in Haymarket, Australia in September 2005.
The official obtained the abortion drug from Lin even though she was not pregnant at the time.
His trial begin Tuesday and, on Wednesday, Lin said he would close his so-called clinic even if he might "starve to death." It was a last ditch effort to get a more lenient sentence from the NSW Supreme Court judge who is determining his fate.
"In order not to cause conflict with me and the law, and for the sake of Australia, I will … close my clinic today," he told Justice Jane Matthews, according to the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper. "I have to stop, I have to stop from now on, even if I starve to death."
According to the paper, Judge Matthews reminded Lin he could still practice Chinese medicine but could not advertise himself as a doctor or dispense drugs such as the mifepristone abortion pill that can only be given out by licensed physicians.
But Lin was adamant that he would close down his office.
"I am under too much pressure," he said. "If I close my clinic, I believe the prosecutor would feel happy and every Western medical doctor around my area would feel happy."
In the sting investigation, Lin never conducted a medical examination on the female undercover officer to determine if she was pregnant or the age of her unborn child before dispensing the drug.
The RU 486 pill, which has caused the death of a dozen women worldwide and injured more than 1,100 in the United States alone, can only be used in the early stages of pregnancy.
The 65 year-old Mandarin speaker plead guilty through an interpreter to 31 violations of the Medical Practice Act and could also be fined $5500 in addition to the prison sentence.
During the hearing, prosecutor Gerard Craddock said Lin tried to pass himself off as a doctor who could do abortions or give women the abortion drug.
He described how Lin received letters warning him he was violating the law and an undercover agent who went by the name of Carla obtained the abortion drug from him.
After giving Lin a faked urine sample, Lin gave Carla pills from a box marked "mifepristone" and allegedly told her: "I must give you some tablets. You’ll take the tablets for three days and then the baby will come out."
Lin told the court that drugs were commonly used in China for abortions and were successful 90 percent of the time. He also claimed that, in China, specialists of Chinese traditional medicine are allowed to call themselves doctors.
Sentencing in the case is expected on Friday.