Date
15 December 2018
Dr. Franklin Li, who was arrested in connection with the death of a botox client, was said to have been involved in another botched-up beauty treatment case in the past. Photo: RTHK News/video screengrab
Dr. Franklin Li, who was arrested in connection with the death of a botox client, was said to have been involved in another botched-up beauty treatment case in the past. Photo: RTHK News/video screengrab

Cosmetic surgeon, 86, arrested after woman dies in botox case

An elderly cosmetic surgeon was placed under arrest on Monday following the death of one of his patients in a botox-related case.

Dr. Franklin Li Wang-pong, 86, was taken into custody as one of his female clients died after she received botox injections at his clinic in Tsim Sha Tsui.

On Sunday, a 52-year-old woman surnamed Cheung is said to have gone to Li’s beauty clinic, located along Humphreys Avenue, and received some botox shots.

Not long after the injection, Cheung fainted. She was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where she died Monday morning.

Following the death, police launched an investigation and conducted an all-night search at the clinic.

Li was present at the scene to assist the police and health department staff in their probe.

According to Chief Inspector Lam Yuen-ling of the police’s Yau Tsim District (Crime) unit, investigators found that the amount of dangerous drugs stored in the clinic did not match the records. Li is thus suspected to have violated the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance.

Cheung, the woman who died, is believed to have been a long-time friend of Li and also his client. She was said to have been employed in the Hong Kong branch of Swiss private bank Julius Baer. 

In the wake of her sudden death, her cosmetic surgeon, Li, was accused of committing two offenses: breach of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, and misleading police officers.

According to reports, Li originally claimed that Cheung came to the clinic without an appointment to get treatment for her asthma.

However, he was said to have corrected himself later after questioning by the police, admitting that Cheung had in fact injected some botox that day.

As officers continue their probe, news has surfaced that the doctor had in the past been embroiled in another beauty treatment case that went horribly wrong.

In the case that was linked to him 15 years ago, a woman was said to have died after a botched liposuction operation. The doctor was later said to have been suspended for a while after the incident.

Data show that Hong Kong has seen at least 19 cases involving suspected botulism after receiving such injections in the past two and half years, the Hong Kong Economic Journal noted.

William Chui Chun-ming, president of the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Hong Kong, surmised that the botox injection given to Cheung might have caused some kind of side effect on her since she had asthma.

Chui urged authorities to look into how many injections Li had performed for his clients during recent treatments, as well the injection amount he had used each time, to ascertain whether there was over-dosage of the botox.

Civic Party legislator Dr. Kwok Ka-ki, who is a medical doctor, said the case, plus multiple ones in recent years, shows that the government should have stepped up regulations a long time ago.

Dr. David Lam Tzit-yuen, vice-president of the Hong Kong Medical Association, said another issue that can be discussed is whether aged doctors need to give a declaration or pass a body check-up before they are allowed to continue practicing.

Lam alleged that the idea had been put forward to the Medical Council of Hong Kong at meetings multiple times, but had been rejected by the agency.

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TL/JC/RC

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