The public prosecution had appealed the earlier judgements, seeking stiffer penalties.
The highest court of Dubai has upheld the one-year jail term for each of the three doctors held responsible for the botched nose surgery that left an Emirati woman permanently disabled.
The three defendants – a 59-year-old surgeon who is a citizen of Dominican Republic; a 65-year-old anaesthetist and a 69-year-old anaesthetic technician, who are both Syrians – have all been found guilty of malpractice and negligence in the surgery of 25-year-old Rowda Al Maeeni, who slipped into a coma because of the procedure.
The Dubai Court of Cassation also upheld their deportation orders after completing their jail terms and upon paying a total temporary compensation of Dh51,000. The medical centre where the procedure took place – and which recently reopened – has also been ordered to pay a Dh300,000 fine. The court ordered that the civil lawsuit be referred to the civil court.
The public prosecution had appealed the earlier judgements, seeking stiffer penalties, according to instructions from Counsellor Essam Essa Al Humaidan, Attorney-General of Dubai.
In April last year, Al Maeeni was supposed to get a minor nose defect fixed in a surgery. However, as the operation went wrong, the patient fell into a coma and lost her mental and physical abilities, including her sight and hearing. She became totally dependent on others and in need of round-the-clock medical assistance.
The attorney-general referred the case to the court in early January. An investigation conducted by the public prosecution and supported by medical reports found that the defendants committed “serious mistakes” that caused major health problems to the patient.
All three doctors had their licences suspended and the medical centre where they worked was then ordered closed. A final report by the Higher Committee for Medical Liability in the UAE – released in November last year – blamed the three doctors for the severe deterioration of Al Maeeni’s health.
The investigation also revealed that the one-day-surgery medical centre where the operation was done was not suitable for such kinds of procedures. Critical errors were found in the surgery.
The latest ruling is irrevocable.
– On April 23, 2019, Emirati Rowda Al Maeeni visited the medical facility and underwent a nose surgery. She slipped into a coma and became permanently disabled.
– In May 2019, the DHA suspended all surgeries at the clinic, as well as the licences of the doctors, pending the investigation.
– In November 2019, the Higher Committee for Medical Liability in the UAE issued its final report which held the doctors responsible for the patient’s deteriorated health condition.
– In early January 2020, Dubai public prosecution referred the case to court, charging the trio with medical malpractice and negligence.
– On January 20, the trial began.
– On March 18, doctors were found guilty.
– On July 21, Dubai Court of Appeals upheld the Court of Misdemeanours’ verdict.
– On September 28, Dubai Court of Cassation upheld the earlier rulings. ?
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