Doctor jailed 12 years for patient's death

AFP
The doctor at the helm of a Hong Kong beauty clinic that administered a deadly experimental cancer therapy was jailed for 12 years on Monday, reports said.
AFP

The doctor at the helm of a Hong Kong beauty clinic that administered a deadly experimental cancer therapy was jailed for 12 years on Monday, reports said.

Patient Chan Yuen-lam, 46, died a week after she received a blood infusion at the clinic in 2012, an unprecedented medical blunder that has shed light on the city’s largely unregulated beauty industry.

Chan had signed up for the unproven therapy using CIK cells, touted as an immunity boost by beauty chain DR Group and sold at HK$59,500 (US$7,615) per injection, local media reports said.

Bacterial levels in Chan’s blood before she died were comparable to those of terminally ill AIDS patients, according to a doctor who testified during the trial.

Beauty clinics in Hong Kong offer a wide range of treatments, many with little or no scientific backing, and often operate under little oversight.

High Court Justice Judianna Barnes called Stephen Chow, the founder of DR Group convicted of manslaughter, a “money-hungry” businessman before sentencing him yesterday.

The sentence should reflect the “abhorrence felt by society,” Barnes said.

Laboratory technician Chan Kwun-chung, who prepared the blood product for the victim, was also sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Other victims who received the botched treatments in 2012 included a woman who had to undergo amputations as a result.

The jury last week failed to reach a majority verdict on a third defendant charged with manslaughter, a doctor who administered the treatment, who could face a new trial as prosecutors are set to seek a retrial in January.

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