Mon, Jan 24, 2005 - Page 4 News List

Doctors and father facestiffer charges

PAYING THE PRICE After the girl was pronounced brain dead, prosecutors said that those involved would now be charged with graver crimes


After the 4-year-old girl surnamed Chiu at the center of a scandal over child abuse and hospital facilities was pronounced brain-dead yesterday, the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office yesterday said the two Taipei Municipal Jen Ai Hospital involved would be charged with a more serious crime with a maximum term of imprisonment of five years, while the girl's father, whose beating was responsible for her injuries, was looking at a minimum jail term of seven years.

The girl had been in a coma since being beaten by her father two weeks ago.

"Two doctors, Lin Chin-nan (林致男) and Liu Chi-hwa (劉奇樺), had been charged with injury caused by occupational negligence, but because the girl died yesterday, they will now be charged with the more serious crime of causing death by occupational negligence," said the office's spokesman, Lin Pang-liang (林邦樑).

The two doctors will be also charged with forgery, Lin said.

The two doctors, who both work at Taipei Municipal Jen Ai Hospital, are accused of having never reviewed the girl's case and forging a report on the case in order to avoid responsibility.

The prosecutor in charge of the case took the two doctors' testimonies on Jan. 18, deciding to charge them and prohibiting them from leaving Taiwan.

The girl's father, who is in custody, is now charged with causing death by the infliction of grievous bodily harm," said Lin, for which he faces between a minimum of seven years in jail and a possible life sentence.

The girl's father earlier admitted to the prosecutor that he beat his daughter, but said that "it was his way to teach his daughter good behavior."

A law expert said that, since the girl's father is the defendant in the case, he cannot receive criminal victim's compensation. Also, Chiu's family could apply for compensation for medical negligence, but the father has no right to receive money should the compensation be granted.

Chiu's case become a cause celebre when she was tuned away from a number of Taipei hospitals and eventually had to go by ambulance to Taichung to get treatment

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