Family of dead prisoner sues medical provider

Mr Lian Hock Kwee (right), attended the coroner’s inquiry into the death of his daughter, Lian Huizuan. She was sent to the Changi Women’s Prison for abusing drugs in May 2010, but died there on 2 March 2011, a month before her detention order was due to end.

The family of a woman who died while in prison is now suing the prison's then-psychiatrist, general practitioner and medical provider Raffles Medical Group for negligence.

Ms Lian Huizuan, 27, died on March 2, 2011, due to toxicity from drugs she was taking for depression, in the presence of chronic hepatitis C infection.

They are seeking about $445,000 for losses and damage.

She had been sent to Changi Women's Prison on May 6, 2010, for abusing drugs.

On March 2, 2011, she was marching with other inmates when she complained of pain in her legs. She was helped to the guard room.

Two staff nurses who checked her eight minutes later could not find a pulse.

Attempts to revive her failed and she was pronounced dead at Changi General Hospital.

The mother of two girls aged 11 and nine was undergoing treatment for depression, asthma and hepatitis C at the time.

A post-mortem revealed that the level of amitriptyline in her blood was 19 times the upper limit of the expected therapeutic range.

At a coroner's inquiry into Ms Lian's death last year, State Coroner Janet Wang said there could have been better communication between doctors, a higher doctor-patient ratio and more care in documentation of dosages at the prison.

A pre-trial conference has been scheduled for Feb 18.


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