| 23 May 2024, Thursday |

Verdict in Ella Tannous’ case sparks controversy

Ella Tannous, a seven-year-old child who lost all her four limbs due to a medical error in 2015, is seen determined to live despite her six years of suffering.

The child’s parents have not felt desperate throughout all these years and recently, the Court of Appeal in Beirut chaired by Judge Tariq Al-Bitar has rendered its final verdict in the case.

The ruling ordered the American University of Beirut and Notre Dame des Secours hospital in Jbeil as well as the two doctors Issam M. and Rana Sh. to pay the child 9 billion Lebanese pounds as damages, in addition to a monthly income for life which is equivalent to four times the minimum wage. The verdict also ordered the convicts to pay the amount of 500 million LBP to each of the parents as damages.

Hassan Tannous, the father of Ella, told Sawt Beirut International (SBI) reporter Ghida Jbeili, that the court was based in its ruling on medical reports signed by doctors.

The reports indicate that Ella “definitely needs to have prostheses for her legs every year, which are sold outside Lebanon in U.S. dollars, and their cost hovers between 10 to 50 thousand dollars according to their quality,” Hassan said.

“Ella also needs prostheses for her arms every 3 years at a cost of 40 thousand dollars, physical treatment, plastic surgery, etc. She needs to be escorted for life to go to school and to the university.”

The verdict prompted the Doctors and Hospitals Syndicates to stage a sit-in outside the Palace of Justice and announce a one-week strike, as the head of the Doctors Syndicate Sharaf Abu Sharaf described the ruling as “unfair”.

Abu Sharaf denounced the legal prosecution of doctors “who worked in a humane way and applied all their knowledge” in the child’s case, noting that this ruling could drive doctors to abstain from engaging in risky medical operations in the future.