KUALA LUMPUR: A Saudi Arabian university student was awarded RM280,000 in damages in a medical negligence suit for the death of her baby over alleged use of a drug not encouraged to be used to induce labour.
Turkyah Abdul Rahman Assiri, 31, was awarded RM200,000 in general damages and RM80,000 for her pain and suffering.
High Court Judicial Commissioner Rosilah Yop on Tuesday also ordered gynaecologist Dr Seri Suniza Sufian to pay her RM25,000 in costs.
However, Prince Court Medical Centre Sdn Bhd, named as co-defendant in the suit, denied negligence and had the claim against them withdrawn.
Speaking to reporters here, her lawyer Abdul Razak Hashim said the court made the order over the damages as the defendant had admitted liability over the medical negligence on May 28.
"The doctor had admitted to liability causing the judicial commissioner held that she was fully responsible over her actions," he said.
He said such a conduct had led to the removal of Turkyah's uterus, which left her unable to conceive in the future.
Abdul Razak said he had called a specialist, Dr Ravindran Jegasothy to testify in court over the drugs, who also stated in his expert report over the dangers of using Cytotec to induce labour.
According to court papers, the drug, registered with the Drug Control Authority of Malaysia, was for the healing of duodenal and gastric ulcers.
Besides that, the Health Ministry in 2003, had also warned in a letter to the Malaysian Medical Association as well as the Association of Private Hospitals that the drug should not be used for induction of labour.
In 2012, the Pharmaceutical Services Divisions had said that usage of the drug could lead to uterine rupture to patients with previous caesarean section scar.
Abdul Razak said his client's baby was still born due to the use of the drug.
"It was to be her fourth child, " he said, adding that his client followed her husband, who is a PhD student, to study here.
In her amended suit asking for RM5mil in damages, Turkyah said she had consulted Dr Seri Suniza over her pregnancy in January 2010 and delivered on October 16, 2010.
In the statement of claim filed on Jan 6 this year, Turkyah among others, said Dr Seri Suniza was negligent in administering Cytotec 100mcg to her to induce the labour, causing her to suffer pain, losses, mental depression and distress.
She said that Prince Court was vicariously liable over the negligence of its employee in managing the labour.
In her court papers, she said that she suffered lots of pain from grave bodily injuries that includes haemorrhage and uterine rapture that was caused by the administration of the drug.