• Wed
  • Jul 23, 2014
  • Updated: 6:17am
NewsHong Kong

Doctor banned over death of ex-actress Eugina Lau's newborn baby

Medical Council finds obstetrician botched delivery of ex-actress Eugina Lau's son

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 May, 2014, 5:31am
UPDATED : Monday, 26 May, 2014, 7:49am

The doctor who delivered a former actress' baby who died a day later was yesterday convicted of professional misconduct and had her name removed from the medical register for two years.

The Medical Council found obstetrician Christine Choy Ming-yan improperly induced Eugina Lau Mei-kuen and failed to give the infant effective resuscitation. It found Choy guilty of four of seven allegations.

Paediatrician Wan Kam-ming was found not guilty of failing to properly transfer the baby boy to effective neonatal intensive care. The verdict came after 10 hearings since January and two days of discussions.

"Dr Choy was adamant that what she did was proper and correct. This only showed her lack of insight into her wrongdoings," acting council chairwoman Felice Lieh Mak said.

On February 18, 2005, Choy broke Lau's water at her Central clinic to induce birth without Lau's informed consent. She delivered baby boy Cheung Tin-lam with a vacuum extractor at St Teresa's Hospital the next day. The baby was transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital the same day and died of bleeding in the scalp and organ failure on February 20.

"The mistakes caused the passing of our baby," said Lau's husband, singer Peter Cheung Shung-tak. "After hearing the council's interpretations, it was like a case of manslaughter, like our baby was killed."

The couple first filed a complaint to the council in 2005, but it rejected it after reviewing the medical records. In 2009, they filed another complaint after obtaining an expert report through a civil claim against the doctors.

Yesterday, the council found Choy was not justified in breaking Lau's amniotic sac and had not told her of the risks. Choy should not have performed the procedure in a clinic and should have had a paediatrician on hand when the extraction was prolonged. She also did not do enough to help the baby breathe.

Choy's lawyer, Kumar Ramanathan SC, said the doctor had since stopped doing artificial amniotic sac ruptures in clinics and now had a team of paediatricians standing by for every delivery. "It was a one-off, unfortunate and tragic incident," he said.

As for Wan, the council found the paediatrician should have transferred the baby sooner when he realised that St Teresa could not give it proper neonatal intensive care. It ruled that Wan had made a wrong clinical judgment, but was not guilty of professional misconduct.


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This article is now closed to comments

This doctor deserves full strength of justice - lock up behind bar...
Has anything new been presented to the Medical Council? Why did it change its previous verdict of 2005? It is indeed curious. Why did consideration take so long? Unlike a law court which deals with very many different types of cases every day, the Medical Council has restricted business and perhaps could proceed faster. Maybe it has an agenda that we don't know about, but this delay and prolonged saga and tenacity of the plaintiffs should not have been necessary. The situation must have been trying for all parties alike, and people should beware of using this doctor again in the future, particularly as she seems unrepentant of her procedure.
The couple has no access to all the medical records until they took a hard path - sue the hospital via civil lawsuit (which is costly) and it forced the hospital to release all medical records. Then the couple use the records to file a complaint against the doctor. I am just angry - why aren't the couple entitled to access the medical records of their own son ???
Clearly Christine Choy is militantly ignorant. Yet I find her heartless execution even more repulsive.
The medical council is not fit for purpose. Its a trade union body whose sole purpose is to protect the rights of its members. The Government needs to set up a truly independent body to represent patients with the right to strike off doctors found guilty of malpractice.
Unfortunately its modelled on the British model which suffers from the same problems.
2 years? That's like going on a sabbatical, what a joke! Just goes to show how our medical profession are shielded by the authority whose members are also doctors.
Would an average couple without the financial resources to fight a legal battle for 9 years have had the same justice? More than likely not as the Medical Council would not even have overturned their rejection of of the 2005 claim and Choy would still be practising today. Access to justice in HK is still all about the size of your bank account. Best wishes to Eugina and her tenacity in what must have been a nine year nightmare.
Does the accused have to pay for all legal expenses on her guilty verdict, I wonder? In my view, she should.
wrist slap. she should be banned from practicing in HK.
There is something really fishy about this HK Medical Council and I see them functioning more as a doctor's union to protect the interests of doctors and they are anything but impartial. Years after years when patients died as results of malpractice and most, if not all cases ended up a slap on the wrist.
In the west, malpractice of doctors is a serious offense and manslaughter as the result of a doctor's negligence is an epic nightmare. The former usually result in indefinite suspension of license to practice and the latter would lead to jail time. In the case of Eugina Lau all evidence pointed to obstetrician Christine Choy Ming-yan of gross negligence and by the book she has literally committed manslaughter. And what does she get? 24 months suspension. What a Joke !!
Here is my take: The HK Medical Council is a secret society of the influential elite and it has underground jurisdiction of its own and the government has little or no influence of this inner circle. Just like the Illuminati operating under the radar in the US.
Side note: I have watched this drama unfold on TV and the composure of the plaintiffs were really sad and pale, not surprised after years of litigations in hope of justice and closure. Whereas the defendant, doc Christine Choy Ming-yan always held a million dollar smile as if walking on a red carpet waiting for Oscar and enjoying the limelight given by the media. Now that is a blatant display of cockiness and unremorseful attitude.




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