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SFH on complaint against doctor at intensive care unit of Tuen Mun Hospital

     Following is the transcript of remarks made by the Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Ko Wing-man, before attending the meeting of the Panel on Health Services of the Legislative Council this afternoon (November 18):

Reporter: Is there a universal guideline for doctors to deal with critically ill patients?

Secretary for Food and Health: It is very important that in any circumstances the doctors in charge must act according to the best interests of the patients in making any clinical decision. In this respect, if a patient still has the capability to make personal decision, the patient's preference will prevail. If the patient is left into a situation that he or she might fall into coma or is not in a capacity to make personal decision, the clinicians must make professional decisions according to the interests of the patient. The Hospital Authority has three different sets of guidelines under this situation. Firstly, there is a set of guidelines on making resuscitation decision for patients who are judged clinically to be futile in receiving any further treatment. Secondly, there is also a set of guidelines regarding the advance directive given by patients when he or she still has a capacity to do so. Thirdly, there is also a set of guidelines regarding in general the terminal care for patients who are critically ill.

Reporter: Is that true that the particular doctor did not follow the proper guidelines?

Secretary for Food and Health: Yes. An investigation by the Hospital Authority did find that the doctor had not followed exactly all these guidelines and might also need improvement in terms of communications with the patient's family.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Monday, November 18, 2013
Issued at HKT 18:24


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