Page 5 - CUHK MEDICAL ALUMNI Newsletter Issue 2 Vol 6 2017
P. 5


                                  LAW STUDIES DEEPEN DOCTOR’S



            ”Studying law within the realm of medicine made                    ”Studying law within the realm of medicine
              me a more caring and better doctor, and not a                    made me a more caring and better doctor,
                                                                               and not a defensive one. It improved
              defensive one.”                                                  my communication with patients and

                                 - Dr Danny Lee Wai-hung                       made me understand what is meant by
                                                                               respecting a patient’s autonomy.”
                                            (李偉雄醫生, MBChB 1991)                Dr Lee is sometimes called on to provide
                                                                               expert reports to the Hong Kong
                                                                               Medical Council, civil courts and the
                r Danny Lee can easily be mistaken for   Hospital and then was transferred to   Coroner’s Court. ”My legal studies have
            Da lawyer - he has three law degrees   North District Hospital where he worked   given me more confidence in reading
            under his cap. But he insists: ”I’m not a   until 2003.            and writing such reports.”
            lawyer and am not intending to be one.”
                                              That year he volunteered to retire under a   He is also an accredited mediator.
            Dr Lee says he loves medicine and   scheme offered by the HA and went into
            would not give it up for anything. But   private practice.         Dr Lee is a part-time lecturer at CUHK,
            admits he has a deep ”passion” for                                 teaching  medical  legal  ethics  to
            medical legal ethics, or bioethics - a   It was only after he left the public sector   undergraduates and postgraduates.
            field that looks into ethical issues in   that Dr Lee had more time to do the   He says CUHK, without a doubt, had
            healthcare, medicine and other wider   things he wanted. After achieving his   taught him about curiosity - to always ask
            perspectives like human surrogacy.  doctorate in medicine (MD) in 2005, he   questions about everything. ”And, I believe
                                              decided to turn to bioethics.
            When he was a medical undergraduate                                that by including general education in its
            at The Chinese University of Hong Kong,   When he first took up medical law he   medical syllabus, CUHK has helped me
            bioethics was not a subject per se. ”In   found himself grappling to understand   develop an all-round personality.”
            those days, we only had one or two hours   a lot of the materials. He realised he   His advice: ”Keep an open mind and
            of lectures on basic medical ethics and   needed a strong legal background if he   have interests other than medicine.”
            medical law...that was it,” he says.  intended to go forward. So he enrolled
                                              for a part-time course in general law at
                                              the City University of Hong Kong because
                                              it was closer to his private practice.

                                              He remembers those ”tough” days -
                                              a surgeon during the day and a law
                                              student in the evening. On top of that,
                                              he had ward rounds. Despite the
                                              hectic schedule, he persevered for
                                              four and a half years.
                                              Dr Lee says he is particularly
                                              keen on the issue of informed
                                              consent. ”Previously, we just
                                              got the patients to sign a
            But that passion to study more about
            bioethics remained deeply ingrained in   document and then took
                                              them in for the operation.
            Dr Lee but he had to keep that burning   This practice has changed.
            desire to pursue it on hold.
                                              From the biomedical ethics
            After graduating, he spent 11 years   point of view, informed
            with the Hospital Authority. He spent a   consent means to explain, in
            year at Johns Hopkins University, from    detail, the medical procedure to
            1996-1997, returned to Prince of Wales   the patient and the risks involved.”
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