|Two doctors faced arrest for allegedly accidently killing a newborn baby three years ago and covering up the death. / Gettyimagebank|
By Kim Jae-heun
Two doctors faced arrest for allegedly accidently killing a newborn baby three years ago and covering up the death.
The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said it had asked the prosecution to request arrest warrants for the two doctors at CHA Bundang Women's Medical Center in Gyeonggi Province, who allegedly organized the destruction of all evidence.
In addition to the doctors, seven staff and officials from the hospital have been implicated in the cover-up. Police have been investigating the matter since last July after receiving a report that the hospital had fabricated and concealed the death during a Caesarean section operation in August 2016.
According to police, a doctor slipped while carrying the newborn baby after the operation and dropped the baby on the floor of the operating theater. The infant was taken to the neonatal intensive care unit, but died several hours later.
However, the hospital did not tell the parents what happened and wrote on the death certificate that the baby died "from disease," not from an external factor, despite an echoencephalograph showing the baby had a skull fracture and intracranial hemorrhage.
"The doctors did not conduct an autopsy of the infant so we cannot clearly know what caused he died, but we suspect the baby suffered a skull fracture before his death," police said.
Most of the medical records related to the case were removed and police suspect at least five staff witnessed or learned about the accident, but kept it secret.
The hospital finally admitted the baby was dropped following the delivery procedure, but denied this was the direct cause of death. It said the baby was extremely premature, weighing just 1.13 kilograms, and was born ill being unable to breathe properly. Hospital administrators added that multiple factors contributed to the death, and so they stated that disease was the cause of death.
The hospital admitted it was wrong not to notify the parents of the accident, and suspended its vice chief from duty for not reporting what happened to hospital management after learning about it from the doctor in charge.