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29.06.2006 General News

Temper Flare As Korle Bu Case Begins

By Times
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Tempers flared at the first hearing of the case in which a 14-year-old boy, Frank Darko, has sued the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital for ў800 million for negligence.

Matters came to a head when Mr. Shadrack Arhin, counsel for the hospital and the doctors (defendants), objected to the tendering in court of the hospital folder through the boy's mother (plaintiff), saying it was not coming from “proper custody”.

The suit, filed through the plaintiff, Gladys Darko, cites the governing board of the hospital as well as Dr Kennedy Addo, Dr Korpisah and Dr Agbeko, all employees of Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, for a “wrongful operation” they conducted on Frank on September13, last year.

The doctors, according to the suit, operated on the boy's left knee instead of the right, after he had been diagnosed of a torn patella ligament.

It further claimed that the boy's father suffered a cardiac arrest and died as a result of the doctors' negligence.

Mr. Arhin told the court, “I cannot vouch for the folder's authenticity because it is a confidential document that cannot be handled by a patient, yet they are seeking to tender it through the plaintiff.”

But Mr. Thomas Hughes, counsel for the plaintiff, who was then in the witness box disagreed saying, that the document was obtained from the hospital authorities.

Mr Justice E.K. Ayebi, the presiding judge, then ruled that plaintiff at that moment could not tender the document because counsel had not been able to satisfy the court of how they came by the folder.

Mr. Hughes then applied for the Administrator of the hospital to be subpoenaed to tender the document, a request which was granted and the case was journed to July 7.

Ealier in her evidence, Gladys Darko who spoke in Twi, told the court that before the operation was performed on her son, she was made to sign an undertaking that “the surgery was to be perfomed on the right leg.”

She said, “at about 6.30 pm when Frank was brought from the theatre, the doctors had operated on his left leg instead of the right and immediately my husband's blood pressure rose,” adding that Dr. Korpisah pleaded with them to come the next day and when they did the doctors “apologised to us and promised to correct the defect.”

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