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Zhuhai hospital performs cosmetic surgery on minor without parent’s consent

Posted: 05/13/2012 7:00 am

Mr. Lee compares the ID card of his 16-year-old daughter with the ID card she stole from her 20-year-old friend

Mr. Lee, a father from Zhuhai, has publicly condemned a local hospital after his daughter, a 16-year old high school student, underwent breast augmentation surgery using a stolen ID card. According to the Southern Metropolis Daily (“SMD”), the hospital declined to comment on whether they performed the surgery, but stated that the hospital’s hands are tied regarding identification because of limited resources: “We are a hospital.  We have neither the right nor the technology to verify the authenticity of every patient’s ID card.” Lee disagrees. Comparing the ID card of his daughter with that of the owner of the stolen card, a friend identified as Liang Yijun, he said: “Their faces are completely different. You can’t tell me that the hospital couldn’t tell they’re not the same person.”

As SMD reports, Mr. Lee was concerned after his daughter didn’t come home from her part-time job last Saturday. Lee didn’t have contact with his daughter until she called the following day to inform her parents that she had been hospitalized but offered no further explanation. When her parents arrived at the hospital, both the daughter and her attending physician explained that the physician had removed a tumour in the daughter’s breast.  When the parents started to ask questions, requesting medical records and further details about the surgery, the hospital refused to answer on the basis of doctor-patient confidentiality. The daughter later admitted that there was no tumour, and that she had undergone breast augmentation surgery.

While the law, and hospital protocol, requires minors under the age of 18 to have written consent from a parent or legal guardian before cosmetic surgery is performed, the policy isn’t strictly enforced. Guangdong lawyer, Deng Shulin, believes hospitals need to do more to prevent minors from undergoing risky, invasive surgery without their parents’ consent. According to Shulin, when dealing with minors such as Lee’s daughter, hospitals have no legal grounds to withhold medical records. He believes Lee, and other parents like him, should seek a return of the fees for similar procedures, as well as additional compensation.

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