Saturday, November 28, 2015   

Baby death Dr guilty

Mary Ann Benitez and Hilary Wong

Monday, May 26, 2014

An obstetrician was struck off the medical registry for 24 months in a case involving the death of the newborn son of a celebrity couple nine years ago.

The sentence came three hours after the Medical Council found Dr Christine Choy Ming-yan guilty of four out of seven charges of professional misconduct.

The removal order from the right to practice medicine in Hong Kong - for each guilty charge - of six, 12, 18 and 24 months will run concurrently.

Choy - who gained her medical degree from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland in 1995 and has been a fellow of obstetrics of the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine since 2003 - will be struck off for two years from the date the decision is gazetted in two weeks.

The panel also required Choy to undergo mandatory continuing medical education.

Choy - who runs a solo practice in the plush New World Tower in Queen's Road Central - was slammed for not only failing to perform proper and effective resuscitation of the baby, Cheung Tin Lam, but also for asking his father, singer Peter Cheung Shung- tak, to cut the umbilical cord.

She also allowed nurses at the private St Teresa's Hospital to hand the baby over to his mother, former actress Eugina Lau Mei-kuen, for photo-taking.

Private pediatrician Wan Kam-ming was cleared of one charge of professional misconduct of failing to immediately transfer the baby to a neonatal intensive care unit or a properly equipped hospital. Wan earned his MBBS at the University of Hong Kong in
1987 and has been a pediatrics fellow of the Academy of Medicine since 1995.

In a 23-page written ruling following an eight-month hearing, Medical Council temporary chairman Professor Felice Lieh-Mak said the panel was not satisfied that Choy's breaking of Lau's amniotic sac was performed with Lau's informed consent, so it was "inappropriate" for her to perform the procedure at the clinic.

Choy failed to anticipate that the baby would require resuscitation and failed to arrange a pediatrician to stand by for resuscitation.Choy delivered the 37-week term baby on February 19, 2005. He died a day later after being rushed to Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Choy's lawyer told the panel that, nine years after the incident, no other tragic event had occured with any of her 4,000-plus patients and she had delivered almost 400 babies.

The father said he was disappointed by the 24 months' deregistration of Choy.

"Saying one's professional level as 'far lower than the professional level in Hong Kong' is a serious accusation," said Cheung. "Yet the sentence she received is this low. I really don't understand - what's more serious than losing a life?"

A tearful Lau said: "There is no justice to claim. The baby is dead and will never appear again. But this incident has shown a problematic medical system in Hong Kong."

After the 10-hour ruling last night, Choy said "thank you" while Wan did not say a word.

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