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Doctor’s unintentional murder charge dropped

A doctor who had been accused of causing a woman to die in labour because he abandoned her during childbirth to go to a party had charges against him dropped by the Court of Appeal on Monday.

Presiding judge Chay Chandaravan ruled that the case against the deputy director of Siem Reap provincial hospital, Dr Ith Chhorb Chhorath, was not a case of unintentional murder.

Although it was established that the doctor had left his patient to attend a party as she was giving birth in April 2012, he ruled, a midwife was present, and when problems occurred, the doctor returned to care for his patient.

“The Health Ministry said that he is innocent, and the woman lost a lot of blood because of her own disease, while the administrative mistake has been punished already,” Chandaravan said. “According to the confirmation of the Health Ministry, the court decided to drop the charge against him.”

However the dead woman’s husband, Cheav Chan, 48, said the judge’s ruling was unfair, and claimed that while his wife had gone to the hospital to seek help from the doctor, the medic failed to help her and left her to die.

“I cannot accept this and I will forward the case to the Supreme Court, because my wife’s life is being treated like an animal’s life,” he said.

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