(胡万林, born 1949, Mianyang, China) is thought to be one of
the world's most prolific medical serial killers. He was
arrested for killing 146 people, but suspected of the deaths
Hu Wanlin was born in the city of
Mianyang, Sichuan Province and only completed primary
education. He was imprisoned for intentional homicide,
swindling, and abducting and trafficking in women. While in
prison in 1993, he opened a medical practice.
On release in 1997 he continued
practicing medicine illegally in the northern Shanxi
Province and northwestern Shaanxi Province where he started
two hospitals. This continued until February 1998, when he
was banned by local authorities. Hu then went to Henan in
Hu's 'treatments' were thought to have
resulted in the death of at least 146 people. The 'treatments'
involved herbal preparations which were proved to contain
high amounts of sodium sulphate which is poisonous in large
doses. He also employed the traditional practice of qigong,
in which the healer emits qi from his body. The qi has
curative powers, without physical contact being necessary.
Hu became well-known, having his medical practice and
"medical miracles" described by a well-known Chinese
novelist, Ke Yunlu.
Hu was arrested in January 18, 1999 in
Shangqiu, tried for practicing medicine without a license
and convicted on October 1, 2000. He received 15 years
imprisonment, suspension of voting rights for five years and
a 150,000 yuan fine.
As a direct result of the trial an
official system of medical licensing was set up in China.
Hu Wanlin is a Sichuan native
received only a primary school education, and then led a troubled life.
While serving a sentence in jail for intentional homicide, swindling,
and abducting and trafficking in women, Hu decided to try something
different. In 1993, while still in jail, he opened a medical practice.
Four years later Hu was released from prison, and although he had no
legal certification, he continued to practice medicine in the
and Henan provinces.
Hu called himself a miracle-worker who could diagnose
patients with only a cursory examination that might last only five
seconds. He worked in the traditional practice of qigong, which
requires the healer to emit qi from his body. The qi would
have curative powers, without physical contact being necessary. There
were thousands of such practitioners in
eager followers. Hu himself became a public figure, having his medical
practice and "medical miracles" described by a well-known Chinese
novelist, Ke Yunlu. Yet scientists denounced him.
And there were problems. Hu sold home-made herbal
medicines, which were mixed with the mineral salt mirabilite. These
medicines contained lethal amounts of sodium sulfate. He didn't save
his patients; in fact, some died. Three deaths were clearly attributed
to his illegal and unsafe practices.
Hu was arrested in January 1999 at the age of 50,
suspected in causing the deaths of nearly 150 patients. He was charged
with illegally practicing medicine and was found guilty and sentenced to
15 years in prison. As part of his punishment, he no longer has the
right to vote for five years and he had to pay a fine 150,000 Yuan.
According to reports in the Xinhua News Agency, this
case helped bring attention to the problems
China has had
with unauthorized medical practice, and
China has now
set up a medical licensing system under which only licensed doctors are
allowed to treat patients. In 1999, 300,000 Chinese passed a national
medical examination and became
group of licensed doctors.
January 18, 1999
state-run Xinhua News Agency reported a self-styled "doctor" who practiced
the traditional medical art of qigong -- a deep-breathing technique dating
back 5,000 years -- was arrested for killing between 100 to 190 patients.
Hu Wanlin, 50, from Shangqiu in
central Henan province, had been practicing qigong in the area since June
1998. He previously served two prison terms for operating illegal medical
clinics in various parts of China.
"Omnipotent Doctor" Sentenced 15-year Imprisonment
January 16, 2001
Hu Wanlin, a self-promoted "omnipotent doctor" in
central China's Henan Province, was sentenced 15 years in prison,
deprived of five years of political rights and levied a fine of 150,000
yuan for illegally practicing medicine.
According to Henan provincial Higher People's
Court's investigation, Hu was born in the city of Mianyang, Sichuan
Province. He practiced medicine illegally in the northern Shanxi
Province and northwestern Shaanxi Province from July 1997 to February
1998, and was banned by local authorities.
Wang Baoran, a Henan engineer with a kidney
dysfunction died as a result of Hu's traditional Chinese medicine on
December 16, 1997.
Hu went to Henan in June 1998 to continue
practicing medicine after the ban on his practice in Shaanxi. During the
period, Liu Famin, mayor of Luohe city in Henan, who had liver cancer,
died from using Hu's prescription medicine after taking it for four days.
He Suyun, a retired teacher in Shangqiu, also died for the same reason
on October 1.
Hu's illegal practice of medicine resulted in
several deaths, which broke related laws. The court decided on a stern
punishment for him considering the serious consequences and great impact
On January 18, 1999, the Chinese state-run Xinhua News Agency reported a
self-styled "doctor" who practiced the traditional medical art of qigong
-- a deep-breathing technique dating back 5,000 years -- was arrested
for killing between 100 to 190 patients. Hu Wanlin, 50, from Shangqiu in
central Henan province, had been practicing qigong in the area since
June 1998. He previously served two prison terms for operating illegal
medical clinics in various parts of China.
Qigong masters are said to have the ability to concentrate "qi" or energy
in certain parts of their bodies and to use it to help diagnose and cure
a wide range of ailments. Authorities allege Hu's home-brewed Chinese
herbal medicines included lethal amounts of sodium sulphate. Hu came to
prominence in 1997 with his claims of a 90 percent cure rate in
treatment of cancer, hepatitis and high blood pressure. He was even the
subject of a book, "Qigong Master," which supported his claim to possess
mystical healing powers.
When released in 1997 after spending 14 years in prison on murder charges,
Hu set up the Hu Wanling Hospital in Taiyuan, Shaanxi province, where
authorities allege his treatment caused the death of 20 patients. In
November 1997, Hu established the Zhongnanshan Hospital, also in Shaanxi,
where 146 people died under his treatment, the report said. After police
closed the hospital, Hu fled to Shangqiu, where the local health bureau
formally invited him to set up the Weida Hospital. Thirty patients died
there under his care.