Cause of singer Shin’s death in dispute

October 28, 2014
A portrait of the late singer-songwriter Shin-Hae chul is placed on the top of his memorial altar set up in Asan Medical Center in Songpa, southern Seoul, Tuesday. Shin, 46, was pronounced dead on Monday after falling into a coma following a heart attack during a surgical procedure. / Yonhap

A portrait of the late singer-songwriter Shin Hae-chul is placed on the top of his memorial altar set up in Asan Medical Center in Songpa, southern Seoul, Tuesday. Shin, 46, was pronounced dead on Monday after falling into a coma following a heart attack during a surgical procedure. / Yonhap

By Jung Min-ho

Some of Shin Hae-chul’s acquaintances claim medical negligence on the part of the hospital was to blame, which the hospital denied.

Shin Dae-chul, of rock band Sinawe and a close friend of the late Shin Hae-chul, accused the Seoul hospital in question of failing to properly perform an operation on Oct. 17 to treat intestinal adhesions.

“I can’t believe that you left, Hae-chul, but I will take vengeance on your behalf,” the Sinawe member wrote on his Facebook, indicating that initial treatment was not properly conducted.

Rumors about medical malpractice started swirling after Shin was transferred to Asan Medical Center on Oct. 22 after having a heart attack; this was five days after his initial operation at the Seoul-based hospital.

The hospital made an announcement on Oct. 24 that it would take legal action against the sources of the rumors.

A statement from the hospital later that day further angered Shin’s family, friends and fans – “There is a possibility that Shin took our medical advice lightly because he was a celebrity.”

KCA Entertainment, Shin’s agency, responded on their client’s behalf on Oct. 25: “The statement is very unpleasant, not only for us but also for his family.”

Kim Chang-ryul, a member of pop group DJ DOC, also criticized the hospital on his Instagram, saying, “This is not right. You bring him back!”

The homepage of the hospital crashed days ago because it had too many visitors.

Yet the hospital in question has not released a formal announcement, rejecting all media contact.

No legal action has been taken and there is no investigation into the case so far.

After his surgery on Oct. 17, Shin Hae-chul was released the next day.

He was hospitalized again due to chest pains on Oct. 20, but was released again after getting emergency treatment and check-ups.

The pain persisted, which led him back to hospital on Oct. 22.

He then suffered a massive heart attack at around noon that day, prompting the medical staff to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation on him.

He was later moved to the Asan Medical Center. His agency said he had a serious infection of the peritoneum, or abdominal cavity lining, and intestines.

He reportedly had a stomach operation at Seoul Sky Hospital as part of a diet plan in 2009.

Shin was one of the biggest names in Korean pop music in the 1990s. His fans have responded to news of his death with an outpouring of support.

“He was an artist who appealed to the public,” music critic Lim Jin-mo said. “We didn’t just lose one musician. We lost a messenger of the music industry.”

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