Tue, Jan 18, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Prosecutors charge doctors for their role in hospital scandal

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taipei District Prosecutors' Office yesterday charged two doctors, who have been accused of forgery and injury caused by professional negligence, as defendants in a criminal investigation and prohibited them from leaving Taiwan.

"Taipei municipal officials have obtained the two doctors' testimonies, and the two doctors are now being charged with a crime," said the office's spokesman, Lin Pang-liang (林邦樑).

The prosecutors made the decision after investigators discovered that Taipei Municipal Jen Ai Hospital doctors Lin Chin-nan (林致男) and Liu Chi-hwa (劉奇樺) were found to have never reviewed the four-year-old girl's case and had forged a report on the case in order to avoid responsibility.

The prosecutors' office said that the two doctors were accused of forgery and injury caused by professional negligence, and that the most serious crime that they could be charged with is death caused by professional negligence.

In that case, the two doctors will face a minimum one-year prison term if they are convicted, the office said.

Chen Chia-hsiou (陳佳秀), the prosecutor in charge of the case took the two doctors' testimonies separately yesterday morning.

According to Chen, Lin Chin-nan admitted that he had not been at the hospital, and had made the case report without reviewing the patient's CT scan.

"He also acknowledged that he did not come to the hospital's Intensive Care Unit. Nor did he check the girl's brain CT scan on the computer," Chen said.

The other neurosurgeon, Liu, also told the prosecutor that he had signed the medical report to cover for Lin and himself after the fiasco exploded.

The two doctors looked extremely tired, and seemed to be under huge pressure when they came to the prosecutors' office. Both refused to answer questions from reporters.

At midnight on Jan. 10, the critically injured girl, identified only by her surname, Chiu, was taken to Taipei Municipal Jen Ai Hospital after being beaten by her drunken father.

The hospital turned her away, saying there were no vacancies. The critically injured toddler was then turned away from several other hospitals in Taipei, and was finally transferred to Taichung for brain surgery.

Lin Chin-nan previously told city officials and the public that he reviewed the case by computer and then decided to transfer the little girl to another hospital.

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