Kang Se-hoon, a surgeon in South Korea, operated on a well-liked rock singer and tune author in October 2014. In accordance with reviews, Shin Hae-chul had belly ache, and the surgeon carried out laparoscopic lysis of adhesions. With out having obtained consent, he determined to additionally do a weight discount process.

The affected person was discharged just a few days after surgical procedure however returned a day later with fever and extreme belly ache. Kang didn’t examine the reason for the ache and as an alternative prescribed ache treatment. Shin Hae-chul was ultimately transferred to a different hospital the place he underwent an try at life-saving surgical procedure.

Ten days after the unique surgical procedure, he died of peritonitis, pericarditis, and sepsis. An post-mortem revealed a perforation of the small gut which had been leaking bowel contents and a gap in his pericardium which was infected. Proof of a process to shrink the scale of the abdomen was additionally discovered.

A lawsuit was filed by the household. Kang was discovered negligent and likewise responsible of manslaughter. He was ordered to pay the equal of $1.41 million in damages to the household and sentenced to 10 months in jail plus two years’ probation.

Kang appealed the case, and in January 2018, the Seoul Excessive Courtroom not solely upheld the decision, it elevated his jail time period to 12 months. A lot for the enchantment.

Precisely what number of US docs have confronted jail time for malpractice is unknown, however it’s nonetheless thought-about uncommon. Right here’s a current instance.

In September of 2017, a 71-year-old doctor underwent a cosmetic surgery process at an outpatient surgical middle in Beverly Hills, California. Within the restoration room, the affected person suffered a respiratory arrest. Regardless of the efforts of the Beverly Hills Hearth Division, he died.

Articles about this incident have been primarily based on a press launch from the Beverly Hills Police Division, and lots of particulars, equivalent to whether or not personnel from the outpatient surgical procedure facility had began resuscitating the affected person or not, are missing.

A 3-month investigation concluded that an anesthesiologist had given the affected person “a deadly dose of Demerol,” a drug few docs prescribe as of late. The police allege that the anesthesiologist himself was below the affect of narcotics on the time.

He was arrested and charged with [probably second degree] homicide which carries a most sentence of 25 years in jail. His bail was set at $1 million.

Details about the variety of docs tried for and convicted of crimes related to malpractice is sparse.

A 2008 submit on the MDedge web site stated from 1809 to 1981, about 15 instances of prison prosecution of physicians for medical wrongdoing occurred within the US, however between 1985 and 2004, not less than 15 extra instances, all concerned deaths, happened. The article explains how malpractice fits differ from prison instances. The latter normally comprise a number of of the next: “wicked indifference to human life, lack of well timed response, reckless endangerment, dangerous therapies, gross negligence, intoxication, deception.”

The creator concluded, “It’s affordable to count on prosecutors to turn out to be extra lively in submitting prison fees as public frustration with insufficient self-policing grows.”

Since not a lot has modified concerning oversight within the final ten years and physicians are actually being held accountable for negligently prescribing opioids, I count on the variety of prison instances will improve.

“Skeptical Scalpel” is a surgeon who blogs at his self-titled website, Skeptical Scalpel.  This text initially appeared in Doctor’s Weekly.

Picture credit score: Shutterstock.com

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