Shin Hae Chul's Death Ruled a Result of Medical Negligence

On March 3, the Songpa police station wrapped up investigations surrounding the late Shin Hae Chul’s death.

A full three months after the final autopsy results were released, the police have revealed their final conclusions, explaining that the late singer’s death was caused by negligence on the part of Director Kang of Sky Hospital, who did not take proper measures when the singer developed complications after a surgical procedure. Police have stated that the case against Director Kang for medical negligence resulting in death has been forwarded to the prosecution for further review.

Previously, on October 17, Director Kang performed a synechotomy on the singer’s gastrointestinal tract, at which time he also performed stomach reduction surgery without permission from Shin Hae Chul or his family. Police report that during the surgery, Shin Hae Chul sustained 1 cm perforations from his upper small intestine to 70-80 cm below that, as well as 3 mm perforations in his pericardium, which later resulted in peritonitis (inflammation of the peritoneum) and septicemia (blood poisoning).

The problem lies in the fact that following the surgery, Shin Hae Chul’s complaints of pain went unheeded. On October 20, a day after Shin Hae Chul was released from the hospital, he returned to the facility due to pain and a 38.8 degree (Celsius) fever. He was told that pain is normal following surgery and that he “shouldn’t worry because it’s not peritonitis,” and the hospital reportedly did nothing to investigate the cause of discomfort.

During questioning, Director Kang claimed he was told that Shin Hae Chul had to be released to continue his activities, and that he had no choice. In the end, on October 22, Shin Hae Chul suffered a heart attack, and later on October 27, passed away from peritonitis, pericarditis, septicemia, and brain damage due to lack of oxygen.

A police representative states, “The surgery itself was not a direct cause of the death; despite any problems that occurred during surgery, if the proper measures had been taken, it would not have resulted in death,” and explains, “However, that [they] missed their two opportunities on October 19 and 20 [to treat Shin Hae Chul], which ultimately led Shin Hae Chul to his death, is clearly medical negligence.”

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