Botched cosmetic surgery victims fail to complain in Malaysia

February 29th, 2008 - 2:39 pm ICT by admin  

Kuala Lumpur, Feb 29 (IANS) Most victims of botched beauty surgery in Malaysia end up ruing silently and do not complain, preventing action against the erring doctors. The Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) has said it cannot take action against doctors involved in cosmetic surgeries that have gone bad, if no complainant steps forward to lodge a report.

The issue surfaced after Fatimah Wan Chik, wife of then Member of Parliament Suhaili Abdul Rahman, went into a coma caused by complications from a cosmetic surgery she had undergone at a clinic Jan 9.

The MMC had received a written explanation from the doctor who did the cosmetic surgery.

“But we cannot do anything, if no one lodges a complaint,” said the Health Ministry director-general and MMC president Ismail Merican, after launching the book “Medical Ethics, Etiquette and Law” authored by Abdul-Hamid Abdul-Kadir here.

Fatimah is on life support since Jan 18 after she had undergone a tummy tuck, liposuction and surgery for her eye bags, The Star newspaper said Friday.

Abdul-Hamid, who is the MMC ethics committee chairman, said currently the law requires a complainant to come forward before any action can be taken against the doctor.

“We cannot act based on hearsay,” he said, adding that the MMC is nevertheless taking action to prevent such incidents from happening again.

Many doctors lack ethical knowledge because medical schools do not lay emphasis on that and the book is the first of its kind for medical students and young doctors, the author said.

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