The medical community has expressed an outcry over the police’s recent raid on a plastic surgery clinic amid a probe into allegations that Hotel Shilla CEO Lee Boo-jin had regularly taken propofol for non-medical purposes at the clinic. She is the daughter of Lee Kun-hee, the billionaire chairman of Samsung Electronics.
Physicians protested that the police took over the clinic without a search warrant and interfered with other patients’ rights to receive proper treatment.
The Korean Medical Association, a group of about 130,000 local doctors, claimed that police officers waited out in front of the plastic surgery clinic in Gangnam, southern Seoul, from Thursday to Saturday, demanding the hospital submit medical records and related data.
Also, the public health center in jurisdiction requested the clinic to submit all patient-related documents, to check its compliance with the Medical Service Act and the Narcotics Control Act.
“In principle, a doctor can neither disclose a patient’s information nor submit a medical record, without a judge’s order based on the Medical Service Act,” the KMA said in a statement, Saturday. “But the police occupied the clinic for two days without a break and seriously interrupted treatments for other patients.”
KMA argued that the police’s failure to keep due investigation procedures undermined the rule of law and "warrantism,” the last resort of human rights.
“The police and the public health center should do something to observe laws and regulations and prevent infringement of the patients' rights to receive medical care,” it said.
The police raided the clinic from 6:30 p.m. on Saturday to 3 a.m. on Sunday.
The police have been demanding the clinic submit related data since Thursday but the clinic refused to cooperate, saying “it could not offer medical records without a court’s warrant.”
On Friday, the police booked the head of the clinic without detention for violation of the Medical Service Act and the Narcotics Control Act. On the following day, the police raided the clinic.
The police said they would analyze secured medical records and the books that listed the drug use to summon related persons for further investigation.
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