Taipei health department summons four in probe of plastic surgery death

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Jan 26, 2018 - Page 3

The Taipei Department of Health has launched an investigation into the death of a Hong Konger while undergoing an operation at a Justmake Plastic Clinic (嘉仕美診所).

However, four medical staff associated with the clinic failed to yesterday attend a scheduled hearing.

The plastic surgery was reportedly performed at the Taipei-based clinic by a plastic surgeon surnamed Liu (劉), and an anesthesiologist, surnamed Yeh (葉), and two nurses.

Officials had arranged for the four staff to answer Health Inspection Squad officials’ questions, but they all declined to appear on the grounds that they are under investigation by the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office.

“We wanted them to explain the case, but it was not compulsory. So now we are asking them to provide written explanations to clarify what happened during the operation,” Medical Affairs Division director Ho Shu-an (何叔安) said.

Ho said that if any of the four had breached medical personnel regulations, the city would hand out an appropriate punishment including a fine.

Taipei prosecutors said they plan to summon clinic director Lee Jin-liang (李進良) for questioning in connection with the case.

It is alleged that the 52-year-old Hong Kong businesswoman, surnamed Ma (馬), went into shock and later died while undergoing liposuction and fat transfer for breast augmentation, and that she was under general anesthetic at the time.

Yeh has been indicted on two previous occasions for fatal medical incidents, where patients died while under anesthesia as administered by him.

Yeh was reportedly found guilty in the death of a woman in 2000, when she died a day after a liposuction operation due to complications from anesthetic.

Yeh was convicted for professional negligence in the patient’s death and was handed a five-month sentence.

However, he did not serve any time in prison as it was commuted to a fine.

He was also indicted in the death of a boy undergoing a circumcision in 2004, with the investigation citing improper administration of anesthetic.

The four clinic staff were released after questioning by prosecutors on Wednesday, with Liu posting NT$300,000 bail, Yeh NT$100,000, and the two nurses NT$50,000 each.

Lee is married to entertainer Hu Ying-chen (胡盈禎), who is the daughter of veteran celebrity show host Hu Chih-hsiung (胡自雄), better known by his stage name Hugua (胡瓜).

Lee is known as the plastic surgeon of celebrities and he has been accused of having several extramarital affairs.

Lee and his wife are separated.