Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Suit by father of HIV girl dismissed

KOTA BARU: The High Court here yesterday dismissed a suit filed by a man, who claimed that his daughter had contracted and died of a HIV-related disease because of negligence.

Wan Mohd Ramli Abd Rahman, who filed a suit on behalf of his daughter, Wan Norhanis Suhada, 5, and himself, named Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia (HUSM) and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) as defendants. 

He also named Kota Baru Hospital (HKB), its director and the government as the other defendants. Judge Ahmad Zaidi Ibrahim said the plaintiffs had failed to prove that blood transfusions given to the 5-year-old had caused her death in 2006.

"She was born at HKB and was detected as having HIV at HUSM. She received four blood transfusions at HKB and another four at HUSM. 

"According to a medical officer, she had contracted the virus from her parents, but a medical check revealed that they did not have HIV," he said.

"Records of blood donors showed that all were free from HIV, at both HKB and HUSM. Documents showed that procedures at both hospitals were stringent and the blood was filtered. 

"Both HUSM and HKB had traced the donors and their test results were negative." Ahmad Zaidi said based on the blood records from both hospitals, it was impossible that the girl contracted the virus there.

He said according to the statement from a doctor at USM, Wan Norhanis was also treated at the Kota Baru Medical Centre and Tumpat Hospital, and it was not clear what happened at these hospitals.

"The burden of proof is on the plaintiff. In this case, he had failed to prove that the transfusions caused her death," Ahmad Zaidi said, in dismissing the suit with costs. 

"It is sad, but the court is of the opinion that the claims must be substantiated with evidence." 

Wan Jawahir Harun represented the plaintiffs while Norizuananie Abu Bakar appeared for HUSM and USM. HKB, its director and the government were represented by Rohaiza Zainal. - NST

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