Chinese doctor sentenced to prison after 5 patients infected with HIV

Chinese doctor sentenced to prison after 5 patients infected with HIV
PHOTO: AFP

A doctor from East China’s Zhejiang province has been sentenced to two years and six months in prison after five patients were infected with HIV due to her medical errors, according to a judgment released in late May.

Zhao Jinfang, 33, a doctor with the Zhejiang Provincial Hospital of TCM, received the sentence for the crime of medical accident on Dec 12 last year, said the judgment from the Shangcheng District People’s Court in the province’s Hangzhou city.

The verdict said Zhao seriously disobeyed a key rule that a medical needle tube must be discarded after one injection when she was collecting lymphocytes in the hospital on Dec 30, 2016.

It noted she used the same needle to collect, extract and stir the lymphocytes from a group of patients, and then sent them to other medical staff members to do injections on the same day.

In January last year, when Zhao learned a patient in the group was infected with the HIV virus before the lymphocyte collection, she reported her mistake to the hospital, the court ruling said.

In February, five women in the group, including two who were pregnant, also were found to be infected with HIV, the court ruling said, adding Zhao was criminally detained on Feb 8.

“Zhao was seriously irresponsible as a doctor, and her mistake greatly damaged the patients,” said Ye Qing, the chief judge responsible for the case ruling, adding Zhao’s behaviors led to the crime of medical accident.

Considering that she turned herself in, the court decided to punish her leniently, Ye said.

According to the ruling, Zhao’s prison term started on Feb 8, 2017 and will end on Aug 7, 2019.

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