Case # 15NF2517
Date: September 18, 2015
MEDICAL DOCTOR TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR FAILING TO PROVIDE PROPER CARE FOLLOWING SURGERY CAUSING PATIENT’S DEATH
FULLERTON, Calif. – A medical doctor is scheduled to be arraigned Monday for causing a patient’s death by failing to provide proper care for a patient’s infection following surgery. Edwin Hyun-Kyu Choi, 48, Los Angeles, is charged with one felony count of involuntary manslaughter. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of four years in state prison. He is out of custody on $25,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Monday, Sept. 21, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. in Department N-3, North Justice Center, Fullerton.
At the time of the crime, Choi was a licensed physician and surgeon in California and operated out of Celine Cosmetic Surgery Clinic in Buena Park.
On Sept. 17, 2012, Choi is accused of performing abdominal liposuction surgery on 52-year-old Hwa Won Lee at the defendant’s clinic. The next morning, the victim called the clinic about having pain and shortness of breath and returned to the clinic. Choi is accused of keeping the victim in his clinic for 19 hours following the surgery and failing to provide adequate treatment for Lee or referring her to a properly equipped emergency room despite her deteriorating condition.
At approximately 3:00 a.m. on Sept. 19, 2012, a nurse from the clinic eventually drove Lee in a private vehicle to a local hospital. Lee was taken to the emergency room in serious condition and died in the hospital later that day as a result of septic shock. Choi is accused of performing the abdominal liposuction on Lee and failing to properly care for her complications following the surgery and causing her death.
The case was investigated by the California State Department of Consumer Affairs.
Deputy District Attorney Kelly Ernby of the Consumer Protection Unit is prosecuting this case.