$247,500 for girl's ovarian trauma

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 July, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 20 July, 2001, 12:00am

While the Supreme People's Court is busy preparing draft legislation to set guidelines for psychological trauma compensation, a young girl in Liaoning province has just been awarded an unusually high sum for gross hospital malpractice.

On July 12, the Haicheng city People's Court awarded the 16-year-old victim 266,000 yuan (HK$247,500), mostly damages for the emotional pain of having a needless partial hysterectomy, the Workers' Daily reported.

The girl's name has not been released due to her age and the circumstances of the case.

Exactly three years before the verdict, the girl went to the Anshan City No 2 Hospital's Teng'ao township branch for an examination after experiencing severe abdominal pain. She did not realise her discomfort was due to the onset of her first menstruation and the hospital's diagnosis was acute appendicitis.

Although the girl felt better after a night of observation, the hospital went ahead with surgery to remove her appendix.

During the procedure they realised her appendix was fine and it was left intact.

But when they saw blood around her ovaries, they decided, without specialist advice or parental consent, they would remove them.

It is normal for a woman to have some blood around her ovaries when menstruating.

The outraged girl, who is now incapable of giving birth, sued for 450,000 yuan.

Although there is no set amount for compensation for psychological distress, the court ruled that the removal of her ovaries was severely traumatic and deserved high remuneration.

The court found Anshan city's No 2 Hospital culpable for all damages and awarded the victim 2,010 yuan for treatment and medicine, 14,080 for the disabling effects of a partial hysterectomy and 250,000 yuan for emotional trauma.