Family demands autopsy of singer Shin Hae-chul

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Oct 31, 2014 - 20:25
  • Updated : Oct 31, 2014 - 20:25

The family of Shin Hae-chul, a legendary rocker who died on Monday, demanded an autopsy, as friends and fans bid farewell to the ’90’s music icon at a funeral service Friday.

“The family decided to demand an autopsy, dropping the plan for a cremation,” said Lee Seung-chul during a press conference at a memorial park where the singer was expected to be cremated following a funeral service earlier in the morning.

Family members made the last-minute decision following a plea from Shin’s friends that an autopsy be performed to determine the cause of his death.

Shin died on Oct. 27 after suffering from a massive heart attack on Oct. 22 that left him in a comatose state for five days. The cardiac arrest followed an infection in his intestines and abdominal cavity lining, according to his agency, KCA Entertainment. 
Singer Yoon Do-hyun holds the name plate of Shin Hae-chul as the singer’s coffin is carried into a hearse during a funeral ceremony at Seoul’s Asan Medical Center Funeral Home on Friday morning.
(Yoon Byung-chan/The Korea Herald)

What caused the infection is unclear and is shaping up to be the bone of contention in a potential legal fight between Shin’s family and the hospital where he received surgery five days before the heart attack.

On Oct. 17, Shin underwent an intestinal surgery at Seoul Sky Hospital, the same hospital at which he had gastric bypass surgery five years ago.

“After the surgery, my husband was suffering from bouts of pain in his chest and abdomen,” said Shin’s wife Yoon Won-hee in a phone interview with Yonhap on Thursday.

“The day after the surgery, the doctor told us that during the last part of the surgery, the doctor stapled his stomach to make it smaller. But we weren’t told about the procedure nor did we agree to that part of the surgery.

“When we complained, the doctor just responded that the operation was necessary in his judgment,” said Yoon. “It was a surgery we never asked for, and Shin was suffering so much pain after the surgery. But the hospital just said the pain would go away after a while.”

KCA said the family would sue the hospital.

From early in the morning, family members, friends and fans packed the Asan Medical Center’s Funeral Home in Seoul, where the funeral service took place.

The service was attended by family members and K-pop stars including Psy, Seo Tae-ji, Yoon Do-hyun, Lee Seung-chul, Tablo and members of Shin’s rock band group N.E.X.T.

“The music industry is much indebted to his music,” Seo, a distant relative of Shin and also a ’90’s pop music icon, said in a tribute during the funeral ceremony. “We are grateful for Shin, who delivered the best music all the time.”

By Ahn Sung-mi (sahn@heraldcorp.com)