I refer to the report headlined 'New inquest into death of race-case solicitor' (South China Morning Post, June 22), which did not carry the response of the Hospital Authority which we sent on June 21.
To enable the public to have a balanced view on the case, we must reiterate and provide the following information on the treatment for Veriah Harinder Kaur in Ruttonjee Hospital.
Ms Veriah was admitted to Ruttonjee Hospital through the Accident and Emergency Department of Tang Shiu Kin Hospital in the early hours of January 1, 2000, after she had had a grand mal epileptic convulsion. She was managed appropriately. The patient had another convulsion on the morning of January 2. Although the convulsion was stopped with medication, later her condition deteriorated. Despite active resuscitation, Ms Veriah passed away at 12.13pm.
A death inquest was held in November 2000 in Hong Kong. The Coroner delivered the verdict on November 21. The Coroner announced that Ms Veriah died of 'Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy'. The Coroner concluded that Ms Veriah's death was one of natural causes.
In the course of the inquest, the Coroner commented that the allegation of 'racial discrimination' by the husband of Ms Veriah was only an assertion by him and it was not substantiated by any evidence. Ruttonjee Hospital denies categorically that Ms Veriah was discriminated against. She had been provided with appropriate care at the hospital. The hospital reiterates that all patients are treated equally by health-care professionals with appropriate medical care, regardless of their race and background.
We would like to express our deepest condolences again to the family of Ms Veriah.
Dr KO WING-MAN
Director (Professional Services and Public Affairs)