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Police to refer 7 doctors, nurses to prosecution over deaths of newborns

Police said Friday they will refer four doctors and three nurses to the prosecution next week on the charge of negligent homicide over the deaths of four newborns by bacterial infection at Ewha Womans University Hospital in Seoul late last year.

The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said they will be referred to the prosecution Tuesday for possible indictment on the charges.

It concluded that the deaths of the newborns resulted from the hospital's long-standing breach of anti-infection guidelines in the treatment of the premature babies. The violation has continued since the hospital's establishment in 1993, it added.


"This case occurred because the managers and supervisors (of the hospital) have irresponsibly overlooked the long-standing, unlawful practice," a police official said. "Such a case should not be repeated again."  

On Dec. 16, the four infants died in less than a two-hour period while being treated in the intensive care unit of the hospital. Forensic results later confirmed that their deaths were all caused by the same type of bacteria that can be fatal to immunocompromised patients.

Of the seven, two doctors and one nurse were put under arrest Wednesday after a Seoul court issued warrants for them, while arrest warrants were not sought against two other doctors and two other nurses. (Yonhap)