Dubai prosecution requests harsher penalties for doctors in medical malpractice case
An Emirati, Al Maeeni, lost all her mental and physical abilities including her sight and hearing.
The Dubai public prosecution has appealed a judgement issued recently in a medical malpractice case. As per instructions from Counselor Essam Essa Al Humaidan, Dubai Attorney-General, the public prosecution has sought stiffer penalties against the three doctors accused of medical malpractice and negligence in a botched surgery that left an Emirati woman permanently disabled.
On March 18, the doctors were sentenced to one year each in jail by the Dubai Court of Misdemeanours.
The three doctors, including a 59-year-old surgeon (a Dominican Republic national), a 65-year-old anaesthetist and a 69-year-old anaesthetic technician, both Syrians, have all been found guilty of malpractice and negligence during the surgery of 25-year-old Rowda Al Maeeni. The procedure was to correct a minor nose defect.
However, after the surgery went wrong, Al Maeeni lost all her mental and physical abilities including her sight and hearing. She fell into a coma after the surgery, suffering a 100 per cent disability.
Because of the surgery, Al Maeeni became totally dependent on others and in need of constant and round the clock medical assistance and nurse care.
The court ordered that each of the three doctors be deported after completing their jail term and jointly paying Dh51,000 in temporary compensation. As per the court ruling, the medical centre, where the procedure took place, and which has re-opened, has to pay a Dh300,000 fine.
Earlier, only one doctor showed up for the hearing. He denied the charge.
Dubai Attorney-General Issam Issa Al Humaidan referred the case to the court in early January. An investigation conducted by the Dubai public prosecution, which had medical reports - mainly the final report by the Higher Committee for Medical Liability in the UAE as evidence - found that the defendants committed serious mistakes that caused major health problems to the patient.
The doctors had their licences suspended by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and the medical centre, where they worked, was then ordered closed until further notice.
The final report, by the Higher Committee for Medical Liability in the UAE released in November last year, blamed the three doctors for the severe deterioration in the health condition of Al Maeeni.
The case dates back to April last year when the patient visited the medical centre because of some breathing difficulty. She was then advised to undergo a surgery to fix a bone in her nose. The operation was scheduled at the one-day-surgery medical centre, which is not suitable for that kind of surgeries, according to the investigation report. That report revealed that there were critical errors during that surgery.
The hearing date at the Court of Appeals has not been set yet.
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