Thu, Dec 01, 2005 - Page 2 News List

KMT wants doctor to lose license over Hu's records

CNA , TAIPEI

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus called on the Department of Health (DOH) yesterday to revoke a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator's license to practice medicine on the grounds that he violated both the law and medical ethics by publicizing a patient's medical records.

DPP Legislator Peter Lin (林進興) took part in a press conference in Taichung on Tuesday with 12 other doctors to disclose what they said were Taichung Mayor Jason Hu's (胡志強) medical records.

PROFESSIONAL OPINION

Based on his professional knowledge, Lin told reporters that Hu's medical record indicated that the mayor's chances of having a stroke were 30 times that of a healthy person.

With the endorsement of the other doctors, Lin then suggested that Hu should withdraw from Saturday's elections.

Lin told reporters that he was revealing Hu's medical history in an effort to persuade voters not to "be fooled" into re-electing the mayor.

The DPP legislator did not say how he obtained Hu's medical record, nor was he able to certify that the record was actually Hu's file.

KMT ANGRY

At a press conference in the legislature yesterday, KMT legislators said Lin had clearly violated Article 23 and Article 25 of the Doctor's Law (醫師法), which clearly stipulates that a patient's privacy should be protected.

KMT caucus whip Pan Wei-kang (潘維剛) demanded health authorities take immediate action to revoke the licenses of Lin and the other 12 doctors.

The lawmakers threatened to block the department's budget for the next fiscal year if it failed to take action against the 13 physicians.

DPP REACTION

DPP caucus whip William Lai (賴清德), who is also a doctor, said yesterday that Lin's actions were apparently "inappropriate and unnecessary," although Hu's health condition has been clearly evident since his stroke.

Lai, however, said it should be up to the judiciary and medical authorities to determine whether Lin has broken the law.

LIN'S DEFENSE

Lin defended his actions yesterday, saying that he didn't think he had violated the law or done anything that would warrant him losing his license since Hu is not his patient.

He urged the public to focus more on who had leaked the report in the first place than on the doctors' actions.

Lin also dismissed speculation that the medical record released at the press conference was a fake, saying it was a real record from the Taichung Veterans General Hospital.

DOCTORS SUE NEWSPAPER

Eleven of the doctors who joined Lin at Tuesday's press conference filed lawsuits against the Apple Daily yesterday for defamation and public insult, requesting NT$100 million (US$2.98 million) in compensation. They were angered by the daily calling their act "audacious."

Dr. Gao Chia-chun (高嘉君), speaking for the group, said the doctors did not know the content of the record in advance and were present at the news conference simply to provide their professional opinions and express concern about Hu's health.

Additional reporting by Ko Shu-ling

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Hu's the boss in Taichung mayoral race

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