HARBIN, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- A teenager who stabbed a doctor to death and injured three others at a local hospital in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, has received life imprisonment.
On Friday, Li Mengnan, 18, was found guilty of intentional homicide at the Intermediate People's Court of Harbin. He was also ordered to pay more than 680,000 yuan (107,765 U.S. dollars) to the victims' families, in compensation.
Under Chinese law, because Li was under 18 years old when he committed the crime, a death sentence was not applicable. A life sentence was the highest penalty he could receive, his lawyers said.
On March 23, 2012, Li, an out-patient with the First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, attacked four medical workers with a knife after "misunderstandings" about his treatment program prescribed by doctors, the ruling said.
Li's defense lawyers argued that the hospital had misdiagnosed his condition. The court did not accept this.
The defendant was suffering from ankylosing spondylitis, a chronic disease that causes inflammation around the spinal vertebrae, as well as tuberculosis.
Li had received treatment from the hospital on several occasions over the past five years but was still not cured.
Hospital doctors would not administer the drug infliximab for treating ankylosing spondylitis as it could harm or even kill a tuberculosis carrier.
Li believed the doctors were refusing him treatment because he and his family were poor. At around 4 p.m. he bought a fruit knife from a nearby store and returned to the hospital.
He stabbed Wang Hao, a 28-year-old hospital intern, to death. Three others suffered injuries.
After the attack, Li left the scene but returned to the hospital to receive treatment as he had tried to kill himself.
Police arrested him at the hospital at around 5 p.m..
The court did not accept that Li surrendered himself after the attack when he returned to the hospital for treatment.
It was not mentioned if Li planned to appeal.
Wei Liangyue, Li's lawyer, said they were not satisfied with the ruling.
"He chose to be treated at the same hospital, the crime scene, and that should be deemed as surrender," according to Wei.
Li's uncle, Li Chunming, said at the court that he hoped his nephew would file an appeal.
The victim's father, however, said the ruling was fair.