by Steven Ertelt
August 2, 2007
Sydney, Australia (LifeNews.com) — A court in Australia has given a suspended sentence to a man who practices traditional Chinese medicine but illegally passed himself off as a doctor and distributed the dangerous abortion drug RU 486. Yao Guo Lin was given a 13 months suspended jail sentence and put on a bond for good behavior.
Acting Justice Jane Mathews said the bond would allow Lin to remain free as long as he has no further violations of the nation’s laws.
Lin had plead guilty to 31 counts of breaching the Medical Practices Act by illegally dispensing the abortion drug and advertising as a licensed physician.
Judge Mathews said she was still concerned that Lin would violate the law in the future, according to a report in The Advertiser newspaper.
"One of my real concerns is whether he understands even now where the boundary lies between providing traditional Chinese remedies on the one hand, and adopting the mantle of a medical practitioner on the other," the judge said.
"Even during the hearing before me, he described himself more than once as a doctor," she added.
During the trial, Lin promised to close his office in order to get a lighter sentence from the courts. Lin said he would close his so-called clinic even if he might "starve to death."
Judge Mathews said she was particularly concerned about potential harm to Australian women by Lin distributing the dangerous abortion drug without being a doctor.
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.
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.
During the court hearings, 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.