The wife of Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), director of National Taiwan University (NTU) Hospital’s Department of Traumatology, yesterday accused the hospital of making her husband the scapegoat in a high-profile negligence case brought in 2011 in which organs from an HIV-positive donor were transplanted into five patients at the hospital.
Chen Pei-chi (陳佩琪), a pediatrician at Taipei City Hospital’s Heping Fuyou Branch, made the accusations after the Commission on the Disciplinary Sanctions of Functionaries on Aug. 2 demoted Ko, who also teaches at the university, to associate professor for his role in the transplant case.
Ko went before the Judicial Yuan-affiliated commission in August last year, when the Control Yuan impeached him for neglecting his duties as head of the hospital’s organ transplant task force by entrusting non-qualified staff with writing prescriptions and interpreting exam results.
“I can accept the hospital holding Ko accountable for the incident, but what I cannot accept is seeing my husband ... getting all the blame,” Chen told a press conference in Taipei.
Chen said that the disciplinary commission “ambushed” Ko by meting out the demotion while he was away on a trip to Oregon in the US and gave him no chance to defend his own honor. She said she decided to follow its lead by coming forward to tell the truth about the case while her husband was not in the country to stop her.
“The reports the hospital submitted to the Control Yuan and the commission about the incident were outright lies,” Chen said.
The reports aimed to place all the blame on Ko by citing standard operating procedures for transplants as the basis for determining whether he was guilty of negligence, but which had been revised after the HIV transplants had occurred, Chen said.
“While everything Ko said and wrote about the incident was deemed an attempt to find a pretext for his oversight, several high-ranking hospital personnel, including then-NTU superintendent Chen Ming-fong (陳明豐), and deputy superintendents Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) and Wang Ming-jiuh (王明鉅), were cleared of any administrative responsibility,” she said.
NTU said it had no response to “Chen Pei-chi’s personal remarks.”