Murder and Paperwork: Hospital Inaction Leads to Deaths in Shenyang

murder_triangle

In a murder-suicide love triangle resembling Shakespearean tragedy, a suspect and his victim died on July 6th of fatal, untreated knife wounds.

Both the victim and suspect sought medical attention at two different hospitals, both of which refused to operate due to a policy that requires an immediate family member to sign away responsibility of the hospital if the patient is suffering from wounds that require an operation where death is a possibility.

At a market outside Shenyang Catholic Church, shop owner Ms. Jia, saw a man in sunglasses break up a young couple holding hands, she told reporters.  “I can say that they were noisy and the man in sunglasses seemed to be emotional troubled, so I did not want to break it up.”

The man in sunglasses, later identified as 25 year old Wang from Heilongjiang Province, proceeded to pull out a fruit knife and stab the young man twice in the neck. He was 19 years old, and has been given the pseudonym Kobayashi in the press to protect his anonymity. He then stabbed the girl, a 19 year old also surnamed Wang, in the neck.

Suspect Wang then proceeded lay down against victim Wang, and stab his own stomach three times. The whole incident lasted about 5 minutes.

Victim Kobayashi was able to stagger away to nearby Riverside Community Health Center affiliated with Huimen Shen River Hospital, clutching his neck to stop the bleeding.

The health center’s staff saw his wounds and refused to treat him unless they receive a signature from an immediate family member, signing away the hospital’s legal responsibility for his life.

Suspect Wang was similarly denied treatment for the same reason after being rushed to Liaoning Provincial People’s Hospital. Suspect Wang would die that night, Kobayashi too 50 hours later. Victim Wang remains in critical condition, but is expected to live.

Context for the incident was revealed in interviews with victim Wang’s family members at the hospital.

25 year old suspect Wang had been dating 19 year old victim Wang, but their relationship was withering. Even though the two Wangs had not officially broken up, victim Wang started dating her 19 year old Kobayashi without telling the suspect. Police suspect that Wang discovered the affair and sought out to kill the pair himself.

But was the murder weapon a knife or a rubber stamp?

Time lost trying to get permission from family members may well have contributed to the demise of Wang and Kobayashi. While doctors are ultimately compelled to complete a treatment plan, these plans can face scrutiny by officials at the hospital. This leads to a mindset where liability can overshadow treatment and people can die.

Then again, who can forget that line from the Hippocratic Oath? “First, do no harm sign some forms.”

4 Responses to “Murder and Paperwork: Hospital Inaction Leads to Deaths in Shenyang”

  1. Claus Rasmussen

    >> This leads to a mindset where liability can overshadow treatment and people can die

    Argh, this makes me so angry. Doctors should not act as lawyers

    Reply
  2. Triple-K

    Maybe I am wrong, but I thought if you can help a victim, you are obligated to? The hospital staff are in fact guilty of manslaughter.

    Reply

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