Children’s hospital defends its reputation
1 June 2005
BRUSSELS – A Belgian children’s hospital has denied accusations that doctors negligently carried out a number of unnecessary operations.
In a number of newspaper reports, it has been alleged that the University Hospital for Children Reine Fabiola gave children surgery when they did not have major problems and without a previous examination.
Between 1988 and 2001, 229 operations were carried out for intestinal malrotation – a serious intestinal problem which can be fatal – a figure which is between four to eight times that of other hospitals.
An internal medical council investigation was carried out when a hospital radiologist expressed his concerns and failed to find evidence of mispractice
At a press conference, hospital president Charles Jonot insisted that the inquiry had been under way for two years and found no negligence. It said in the majority of the files examined it was clear that several specialists had gathered together to decide whether an operation was necessary.
Jonot said his doctors had been surprised that three families were taking legal action, stating they had never contacted the hospital to report their concerns and their children’s operations had been carried out six or seven years ago.
General medical director Georges Casimir said medical guidelines had been followed in the cases and pointed out that the development and treatment of the illness, of which there are various types, has evolved over the years.
Subject: Belgian news