Citizen rejects blood money ruling, wants hospital shut

Minister of Health

A Saudi citizen is demanding the Health Affairs shut down the hospital that caused the death of his only daughter due to medical malpractice, despite the hospital having complied with a court ruling to pay him the blood money.

Zyad Yassin Labda claimed in a complaint that the hospital neglected his daughter’s treatment and that shutting it down would prevent others from having to deal with a similar plight.

Labda told Al-Watan newspaper that the problem started at the beginning of last year. His daughter Hala, 25 years old at the time, had high fever and was nauseous. “We took her to the ER room of the nearest hospital and they gave her painkillers and IV solutions. An Indian doctor treated her, but when we noticed her health was deteriorating, we requested her to be admitted to the hospital. The hospital refused saying there were no rooms available,” said the father.

An internist later came in and reassured Labda that his daughter was fine and she did not need admission. After he took her home, she started having seizures and she went into a coma. “We hurried her back to the hospital only to realize that she was dead already,” said Labda.

When the father filed a complaint at the Jeddah Health Affairs, and after one year of discussing the case, the court ruled against the hospital and asked it to pay SR150,000 in blood money.

“The hospital management made a lot of effort to stall the payment, but after my pursuing the case in the court the hospital had to pay up,” said Labada. “But nothing can end our grief and sorrow for losing our only daughter. She used to fill the house with so much love and joy. We now filed another case to shut down the hospital.”

Lawyer Falah Al-Jihani said medical malpractice represents a bitter reality that is increasing in a rapid and dangerous way. In this particular case, there were two main issues: deliberate and unintentional.

“In situations where negligence caused the death of a patient, courts oblige the hospital to pay blood money. As for the shutting down of the hospital, the Health Affairs must respond to the father’s demands who lost his only daughter and penalize the hospital by closing it down,” said Al-Jihani.

Official spokesman of Jeddah Health Affairs Abdullah Al-Ghamdi confirmed that there was another complaint filed by the father saying that “it is the right of the affected citizens to file a complaint to the Ministry of Health immediately to take the necessary procedures and to respond and discuss the complaint over through the medical committee in the ministry to earn their rights.”

He also stated that it is the right of any citizen to submit another complaint to the private health sector management, and a committee is formed to respond to the complainant.


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