Surgeon denies surrogate mum claim

Inquest told that a nurse who leapt to her death was asked by doctor to carry a child

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 October, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 October, 2013, 4:44am

The former head of surgery at the University of Hong Kong medical faculty denied yesterday that he had asked a former colleague - who later jumped to her death - to be a surrogate mother.

Professor Fan Sheung-tat was responding to an allegation by Kwan Miu-ying's mother, Li Kam-fung, at the inquest into the death of the 38-year-old nurse.

Li told the Coroner's Court on Monday that a professor, whom she did not name, had asked her daughter to be a surrogate mother in 2008.

"I have never taken the initiative to contact [Kwan] from the outset," Fan told the court yesterday.

The court also heard that Kwan harassed Fan, who was known as the "father of liver transplants", for three years before she jumped to her death at Tung Wah Hospital in Sheung Wan in June last year.

He said Kwan had once expressed her love for him and kissed him in the corridor at Queen Mary Hospital, but he did not accept it and pushed her away.

The continuous harassment between 2008 and 2011 also included sitting on the bonnet of his car to stop him leaving the hospital's car park, and sneaking into his car, the court heard.

At the time, both were working at the hospital, but Fan was not Kwan's boss.

Making her allegation on Monday, Li asked: "How could it happen in a civilised society? [I told my daughter] do it only if you can. Or just forget it."

The court also heard earlier that Kwan had been diagnosed with acute psychosis at Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital in Chai Wan on February 20 last year.

Li said Kwan resumed her duties at Tung Wah Hospital after a month's psychiatric treatment.

The court was told that one day before Kwan's death, she was "very depressed", but in answer to her mother's repeated queries insisted she was fine.

But her mother said when Kwan went back to work she suffered from lower back pain. She also accused Kwan's bosses of deliberately making life difficult for her and teasing her.

In yesterday's closing submissions, Kwan's family members asked the jury to consider whether her mental illness was caused by the Hospital Authority's unsatisfactory working arrangements. The court had heard that Kwan was given clerical work even though she was a registered nurse.

Coroner Michael Chan Pik-kiu will direct the jury today.