Two Hong Kong doctors charged with manslaughter over double botched liver transplants

Woman died in 2017 following two botched liver transplants   (Getty News)
Woman died in 2017 following two botched liver transplants (Getty News)

Hong Kong police have charged two doctors with manslaughter of a woman who underwent two botched liver transplants in 2017.

The woman, identified as Tang Kwai-sze, 45, died from severe liver failure on 26 August 2017, in a case that caused widespread social media uproar over organ donation rules in the country.

The two doctors, aged 45 and 50, were treating the woman at United Christian Hospital in Kwun Tong between January and February 2017.

The Hong Kong medical council’s inquiry panel said that the doctors prescribed the woman with high dosage of steroids but did not give her antiviral drugs to counteract the side effects.

The woman continued to take medicine under the care of the two doctors and suffered acute liver failure in April 2017.

The woman was forced to undergo two liver transplants before she died.

The woman’s case sparked a donation appeal on social media after her daughter who was just three months shy of turning 18 months was not allowed to donate a part of her liver to her mother. Several on social media slammed the city’s rule that does not allow people younger than 18 to donate organs.

The doctors and city health officials said the laws were not in line with the government’s efforts to encourage more organ donation.

According to Hong Kong’s Human Organ Transplant Ordinance, organ donors must be 18 years of age.

Her daughter had considered challenging the hospital in court for not considering her request for organ donation.

The Hong Kong Medical Association on Wednesday said it was “deeply concerned” by the medical negligence in the case.

The two doctors were arrested following the conclusion of investigation on Tuesday.

They will appear at a court on Monday.