The recent death of a 33-year-old internet celebrity in China has sparked a nationwide call for stricter regulations in plastic surgery industry. The celebrity from eastern China passed away from a severe infection earlier this week after undergoing multiple surgeries.
Xiaoran’s death – one online influencers with more than 130,000 followers on Weibo – has become a hot topic on social media and increasingly calls for closer government surveillance. Posts with hashtags related to her tragic death remained trending this week, with some posts garnering more than 600 million views.
A report from China’s Economic Weekly magazine on Friday said the clinic where Xiaoran operated on has admitted responsibility for her death. The cosmetic hospital located in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, said the infections stemmed from some mistakes during surgery and delayed treatment.
The local government has since closed the cosmetic clinic. Xiaoran’s family members filed a lawsuit against the clinic and demanded 6 million yuan ($920,000) in compensation for the wrongful death.
A report from China Network said Xiaoran first visited the clinic in May for a consultation. Doctors then recommended that she undergo three surgeries – liposuction on the abdomen, liposuction on the biceps and breast augmentation. Surgical records show that Xiaoran underwent all three procedures on the same day. The report said she was under the knife for more than five hours for all three procedures.
Two days after the surgery, Xiaoran had difficulty breathing and was in extreme pain. She was then admitted to a hospital in Hangzhou. Doctors told her relatives that she had multiple organ failure. Xiaoran has undergone multiple sterilization surgeries but remains in critical condition. After fighting for nearly two months, she died in the ICU on Tuesday.
Her death has sparked a furious debate on social media, with online users calling for the government to impose stricter regulations in the plastic surgery industry. The issue has also attracted the attention of some politicians, who have suggested amending the law to protect the public.
“The cases demonstrate that the regulation of the medical cosmetology industry should be revised according to the current situation and the public’s suggestions,” said Lü Xiaoquan, a women’s rights lawyer in Beijing.
According to a recent report, China’s plastic surgery market is expected to reach more than 300 billion yuan by 2022. The biggest problem in this sector is that only 14% of industry executives legitimate medical institutions. The Beijing Evening News estimates that there are potentially more than 100,000 illegal cosmetic clinics operating in Beijing alone offering plastic surgery services.
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