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November 19, 2009

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Mom: More for damaged son

IN the name of her blind and mentally retarded son with cerebral palsy, a mother has appealed a local district court's verdict that Shanghai Children's Hospital under Fudan University should pay some 160,000 yuan (US$23,426) for its mistake in causing the boy's disability.

The mother, identified as Lan, thought it unfair that Minhang District People's Court ruled that the hospital should bear only 30 percent of the responsibility.

She said the hospital should also be ordered to continue to cover part of the unfortunate boy's continuing medical costs.

He was born on November 28, 2006, in good health. But only one day after his birth, he was found to have a congenital intestinal disease and quickly transferred to the children's hospital.

At first, the new parents were told it wasn't serious. So when the doctor suggested a coloclysis with barium, the couple agreed without much thought, the court heard.

But the procedure caused a perforation in the boy's intestines. The wound was later infected and the boy developed cerebral palsy, low intelligence and blindness.

"The hospital never reminded us of the risks," Lan said. "If we had known the risks, how could we agree with the coloclysis?"

The misfortune caused the couple to divorce because they disputed whether to sue the hospital.

The mother insisted on a lawsuit while the father, himself a doctor from a district hospital, disagreed, according to the Youth Daily.

The mother sued the hospital in the name of her son at the end of 2008 after divorce, requesting the hospital to share half of the responsibility.

She said the boy, now already three years old, cannot walk, speak or control his bodily functions.

Medical experts decided it was a medium-level medical accident because the hospital failed to inform the operation's risks to the parents beforehand.

The experts said the hospital caused the intestines to perforate, but also took the proper measures after the mishap.


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