Hospital’s lawyer deflects blame for Shin’s death

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Hospital’s lawyer deflects blame for Shin’s death


After the results of an autopsy performed on Shin Hae-chul led to speculation that Seoul Sky Hospital’s negligence caused the singer’s unexpected death on Oct. 27, a lawyer representing the facility suggested yesterday that the responsibility lies with Asan Medical Center in southern Seoul, where the 46-year-old died.

The National Forensic Service announced Monday after a four-hour post-mortem examination on Shin’s body that a hole in his pericardium, the thin outer wall that covers the heart, caused his death.

It also added that the perforation “was found to be related with an abdominal surgery for adhesion.”

Surgeons operated on an adhesion of Shin’s small and large intestines on Oct. 17 at Seoul Sky Hospital - the same place he had gastric bypass surgery five years ago. On Oct. 22, the singer suffered from a heart attack and was rushed to Asan.

Doctors resuscitated Shin on arrival and “cut out part of his intestines because some were attached to each other,” according to an official at the medical center, who said Shin also “underwent various tests” to determine what triggered the heart attack.

Asan provided medical notes to the police on Friday, which stated that a hole was found in Shin’s small intestine after he arrived at the center and that food scraps had leaked through it, leading to an infection.

But the forensics service said on Monday that the hole was not detected in the autopsy because the part of the intestine Asan was referring to was removed by the center during surgery.

The perforation in Shin’s pericardium is “unrelated” to the abdominal surgery he received at Sky, the hospital’s lawyer, Park Jin-seok, said yesterday in an interview with the JoongAng Ilbo, an affiliate of the Korea JoongAng Daily.

“Wouldn’t it have been a problem at Asan Medical Center, where both an abdominal surgery and a heart surgery were performed on Shin?” the lawyer asked.

Park also implied that Shin’s death was partly his own fault for not following orders given by Sky, referring to the forensic officers’ announcement on Monday that sesame seeds had been found in the singer’s pericardium.

“It appears that Shin had consumed food he was not supposed to” Park said.

Songpa District Police Precinct will summon doctors from Sky for questioning over the weekend.

Shin’s agency, KCA Entertainment, said yesterday that the late singer will be cremated at Seoul Memorial Park today. After the cremation, Shin’s remains will be placed at Utopia Memorial in Anseong, Gyeonggi.

BY LEE SUNG-EUN [selee@joongang.co.kr]



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