A doctor was found guilty on the charge of involuntary manslaughter after he ordered a female patient who had postpartum hemorrhage to be transported to a hospital 40 kilometers away rather than to a nearby hospital, the Supreme Court said Friday.
The Supreme Court upheld the lower courts’ ruling Friday, ordering the 59-year-old doctor, surnamed Lee, to pay a fine of 10 million won ($9,300).
Lee is accused of refusing to perform a hysterectomy or an ultrasound on the patient, who was bleeding heavily after giving birth, and deciding to transport her to a faraway hospital in December 2009. The patient was being transported to the Gangnam Severance Hospital in Seoul, which is 40 kilometers away, when she died from excessive bleeding.
A paramedic said he tried to warn Lee and suggested transporting the patient to the nearest hospital, such as Uijeongbu St. Mary’s Hospital or Sanggye Paik Hospital in Seoul.
However, Lee reportedly refused, saying, “I have already contacted Gangnam Severance Hospital. Just go there.”
The doctor was ordered to pay a fine of 10 million won in the first and second trials due to “medical negligence.” The Supreme Court found him guilty of involuntary manslaughter, citing the “doctor’s failure to commit to his duty of care, which resulted in the patient’s death.”
By Catherine Chung (firstname.lastname@example.org