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Doctor jailed over death at Hong Kong beauty clinic

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THE husband of a woman who died after receiving experimental cancer therapy said he could “not forgive” the duo responsible who wanted to “make quick money” rather than care for their clients.

Yeung Kam-hoi’s wife, Chan Yuen-lam, 46, died one week after receiving blood infusions at a clinic in 2012 in an unprecedented medical blunder that has thrust Hong Kong’s unregulated beauty industry into the spotlight.
Chan had signed up for the unproven therapy using CIK cells, touted as an immunity boost by beauty chain DR Group and sold at HK$59,500 (A$9,932) per injection, local media reports said.

On Monday, the doctor at the helm of the clinic, Stephen Chow who was responsible for the administering the deadly experimental cancer therapy was jailed for 12 years after what was dubbed “the worst beauty treatment blunder in the city” by local media.Laboratory technician Chan Kwun-chung, who prepared the blood product for the victim, was also sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The victim’s husband Yeung Kam-hoi said through a lawyer that he would respect the verdict and sentencing “but no matter how long the pair are to be put in jail, it cannot bring his beloved wife back to life again.”
“The family could not forgive the duo who are professionals but are so selfish that they chose to make quick money and pay no regard to the safety of clients.”

Bacterial levels in Chan’s blood before she died were comparable to those of terminally ill AIDS patients, according to a doctor who testified during the trial.Beauty clinics in Hong Kong offer a wide range of treatments, many with little or no scientific backing, and often operate under little oversight.

Justice Judianna Barnes of the High Court called Stephen Chow, the founder of DR Group convicted of manslaughter, an“ambitious, empire-building and money-hungry individual” before delivering the sentence on Monday, the reports said.The sentence should reflect the “abhorrence felt by society”, Barnes was cited as saying.
Other victims who received the botched treatments in 2012 included a woman who had to undergo amputations as a result.

The jury last week failed to reach a majority verdict on a third defendant charged with manslaughter, a doctor who administered the treatment, who could face another trial as prosecutors are expected to seek a retrial in January.