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Chinese law forces adults to visit elderly parents

Published On: Dec 28 2012 09:34:44 AM CST   Updated On: Dec 31 2012 08:32:04 AM CST
Elderly senior citizen's hand held by younger hand

iStock/ tepic

Elderly parents in China can now take their adult children to court if they feel neglected or ignored, according to The Associated Press. 

China's national legislature passed an amendment to an existing law on care of the elderly Friday mandating adults visit their parents "often," although exactly how frequently elderly parents need to be visited to avoid a lawsuit wasn't spelled out in the legislation, according to the AP.

The new law comes after several cases of elderly parents being ignored or abused have gained national attention and fueled anger on Weibo, China's version of Twitter, according to Xinhua, China's state-run news agency.  

In one case, a doctor was ultimately suspended from his job at a hospital after he refused to contribute the equivalent of $240 a month to help his sister cover the cost of caring for their mother. In another, a son and daughter-in-law were accused of beating a 91-year-old woman when she requested porridge instead of noodles, according to Xinhua.

Treatment of the elderly has been a hot topic in China as the country's population ages. Thirty percent of China's population is expected to be over the age of 60 by the middle of the century, according to Xinhua.

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