Wang Bei's Ultimate Sacrifice to Beauty

  • December 3, 2010
  • Editor: Sun Xi
  • Change Text Size: A  A  A

The recently deceased Wang Bei found fame in 2005 as a Super Girl contestant. She died on Nov. 15 at Zhong'ao Cosmetic Surgery Hospital in Wuhan, Hubei Province, while undergoing a facial bone-grinding procedure. She was 24. Wuhan Public Security Bureau has since confirmed that the hospital is liable for medical malpractice.

The Ministry of Health has ordered an investigation into the death of an aspiring pop singer during a cosmetic surgery procedure, the Beijing Times reports. 

Wang Bei's Ultimate Sacrifice to Beauty

[Zhang Xianda/news.xinmin.cn]

"The Ministry of Health has tasked the Hubei health department with investigating and verifying the situation ... with instructions to make a public announcement of the results without delay," the ministry said in a statement last Saturday.

The hospital has temporarily suspended its intake of new patients.

Wang Bei graduated from Wuhan Conservatory of Music and was, along with Chris Lee and Jane Zhang, among the Top 20 Super Girls singing competition finalists of 2005.

Wang later won the praise of Taiwan singer, composer and music producer Sky Wu, one of the judges in the Dream China singing competition in which she appeared. In 2009, Wang became a Super Girl again in Wuhan, and performed last summer in a Qingdao bar. Her most recent regular performance date was in Jinan.

Wang Bei's Ultimate Sacrifice to Beauty

Surgical Oversight

The news of Wang's death first appeared on November 23 on netizen DukeKO's micro-blog. He wrote: "On the morning of November 15, Wang Bei and her mother entered Wuhan Zhong'ao Cosmetic Surgery Hospital for respective plastic surgeries. The accident in which blood leaked into her trachea occurred during Wang's facial bone-grinding surgery. She died after transferring to another hospital for 90 minutes' emergency treatment."

DukeKO also stated that the Zhong'ao Cosmetic Surgery Hospital had paid bribes to suppress reports of the accident.

An error on the part of the surgeon at around 11am on 23 November led to a bleed from Wang's lower jaw into her trachea. Wang died of asphyxiation, according to on-line reports. As she was under general anesthetic, by the time surgeon realized what had happened she had already gone into shock. Wang was immediately, and discreetly, transferred to the Wuhan 161 Hospital for emergency rescue treatment, but arrived too late. The 161 Hospital announced Wang Bei's death that afternoon.  The Zhong'ao Cosmetic Surgery Hospital did not tell Wang's mother of her daughter's death. She passed out on the spot when she learned of the tragedy 24 hours later through official channels.

Wang Bei's Ultimate Sacrifice to Beauty

A doctor on the rescue team, who asked to remain anonymous, said that Wang Bei was dead on arrival at the 161 Hospital.

"She had already undergone facial surgeries on her eyes, nose and lower jaw in addition to the bone-grinding procedure mentioned on the Internet. Respiratory tract obstructions are a risk during simultaneous surgery on the nasal cavity and lower jaw, which is why such cases need careful observation," the doctor said, adding, "Wang didn't die during surgery but in the observation period afterwards. The surgery called for tight bandaging over the patient's chin and mouth. As the nasal surgery impeded nasal breathing, assisted respiration was necessary. It appears that Zhong'ao Cosmetic Surgery Hospital was deficient in its observation procedure after surgery, and is hence responsible for Wang's death."

This doctor also confirmed that Wang is by no means the first in Wuhan to have died during a plastic surgery procedure.

Netizens report that the name of surgeon who performed the operation is Wang Liangming, and that he has no formal qualifications. The hospital website indeed mentions an expert surgeon called Wang Liangming.

Wang Bei's Ultimate Sacrifice to Beauty

He is easy to track down on-line. Wang Liangming graduated from the Second Military Medical University, served as president of Guangzhou Yuandong Cosmetic Surgery Hospital and created Wuhan's first man-made beauty Cao Dandan, according to the ysk.39.net website.

The website also reports that he was in the Prosthesis and Breast Implant Department at the Guangzhou Yuandong Cosmetic Surgery Hospital.

Wang has a bad reputation in the cosmetic surgery industry, according to an anonymous surgeon from Shanghai. "He moved to Wuhan from Guangzhou after certain medical malpractices that caused deaths," he said.

The Zhong'ao Cosmetic Surgery Hospital billboard is eye-catching and the hospital had planned a 2010 Beauty Action project this year. The hospital website, which is blocked at the moment, presents itself as one of the ten national best cosmetic surgery hospitals, and as number one in Central China's medical cosmetology industry. It also claims to be a legal medical institution approved by the Heath Administrative Department and Jiang'an District Heath Bureau of Wuhan.

A Wuhan Jiang'an District Health Bureau official insists that the hospital is legal, but the surgeon Wang Liangming has not been registered or approved by the local health administrative departments since moving to Wuhan from Guangzhou – an omission that violates government regulations.

Wang Bei's Ultimate Sacrifice to Beauty

Fellow of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and respected cosmetic surgery expert Zhang Disheng points out that only National-approved Synthesis Third-class hospitals are qualified to carry out the mandibular angle plasty operation, which makes a dramatic change to the appearance. The procedure involves large scale incisions on the face which run-of-the-mill cosmetic surgery hospitals do not possess the expertise to carry out.

Wang Liangming recently denied the accusations of malpractice in Guangzhou, saying that the death occurred two hours after the surgery. "The relative government department will judge whether it is a malpractice or not. But my operation was successful. We later realized that the patient had heart problems," Wang said.

On November 28, Hubei Provincial Heath Ministry and Wuhan Health Bureau sent an investigation team of medical experts and law enforcement officials to the hospital. Hubei Provincial Heath Ministry confirmed that they would make a public announcement of their findings in due course.

Booming Cosmetic Surgery Industry

The cosmetic surgery industry has developed rapidly along with the improvements to living standards that Reform and Opening up has brought. Private cosmetic surgery institutions have broken the monopoly of state-run plastic surgery hospitals and provided more consumer choice.

"We should learn from Wang Bei's tragic accident," a surgeon at a well-known cosmetic surgery hospital in Hubei Province said. "Problems such as an imbalance in skills, values and management concepts are common in the industry, especially in private-owned cosmetic surgery institutions."

The industry is a consumer hotspot close behind those of real estate, cars, tourism and electronic IT products. More than three million people went under the knife in 2009, according to incomplete statistics from the China Medical Treatment Orthopaedics and Beauty Association. But the amount of qualified institutions in China falls far short of the huge market demand, and inefficient government supervision has given rise to an alarming number of cosmetic surgery mishaps.

Certain cosmetic surgery departments have been contracted out to individuals as private-owned institutions. Other private institutions regard patients purely as a source of revenue.

Moreover, exaggerated claims in advertisements for cosmetic surgery clinics are commonplace and broadcasted testimonials are often false.

More importantly, unlike in other countries where expert groups in relevant areas approve surgeons' qualifications, China has no authoritative assessment mechanism for verifying the credentials of cosmetic surgeons. Health administrative departments in China undertake that function, but the medical society has no supervisory power. This absence of approval by an expert group enables the more mercenary element to challenge the authority and market order and bring discredit to the whole industry.

China hence needs a more effective law in addition to the present Ministry of Health Medical Aesthetic Service Regulations and Classification Management Directory of Medical Aesthetic Projects, which have no constraining force to regulate the market.

There should also be a third party medical society that verifies the qualifications of cosmetic industry medics and ensures that only those with the appropriate qualifications and tried and tested skills are at large in the industry.

There should in addition be regulations that limit the extravagant claims on advertisements for cosmetic surgery clinics.

Reflections on Beauty Economy

Although the exact cause of Wang's death is unclear, the accident inevitably prompts reflections and concerns about the cosmetic surgery industry. Most netizens have expressed sympathy and sorrow at Wang's death. Others question her motives for having such surgery. "She was already beautiful. Why did she take that risk?" one netizen asked.

The fact is that in spite of the oft-expressed sentiment "never judge by appearances" the beauty economy has experienced steady and rapid growth. Beauty advertisements appear on street billboards and on all media, and brokerage firms make huge profits through multifarious beauty contests. A sexy broadcaster can boost the ratings even of weather reports, and young beauty queens are a feature of football matches and auto shows. Even in the literary sphere, books on how to attain and maintain beauty are best sellers. Today's commodity economy is hence also the beauty economy.

(Source: ent.sdnews.com.cn/Translated and edited by womenofchina.cn)

Please understand that womenofchina.cn,a non-profit, information-communication website, cannot reach every writer before using articles and images. For copyright issues, please contact us by emailing: website@womenofchina.cn. The articles published and opinions expressed on this website represent the opinions of writers and are not necessarily shared by womenofchina.cn.


13.7K
comment on this story

Messages that harass, abuse or threaten others; have obscene or otherwise objectionable content; have commercial or advertising content or links may be removed.

Name:
Nationality:
Location:
Content:
  You may put in  6,000  characters
Verification code: Click to change the identifying code    If the code is not clear, please click here for a new code.
Alexander Voller  From UK  December 28, 2010
  It is a real tragedy that Wang Bei should die in so needless a fashion. I will not condemn her for choosing to have this surgical procedure, because although she was unquestionably beautiful, we cannot know what psychological pressures she may have been feeling. This situation is not unique to China. All over the world, women are placing themselves in the hands of cosmetic surgeons with doubtful qualifications and experience. The reasons why some of these women choose to have cosmetic surgery may be questionable, but that is completely irrelevant. If a person is to have any sort of surgery, it must be a legal requirement that every member of the surgical team has the proper qualifications and the necessary experience to be able to carry out such surgery with the minimum of risk. Sadly, nothing will bring Wang Bei back to us, but perhaps - just perhaps, something positive may result from her tragic death. There is an opportunity here for China to lead the world in the strict and proper regulation of cosmetic surgery. If the Chinese authorities will set such an example, then where China has led, other countries may follow and if this does happen, then the world will have been made a little bit safer for women.
Jenny  From China  December 29, 2010
Dear Alexander,Thanks for your comment.To improve her pop-star looks, Wang risked her life in this hazardous surgery and lost it. Her tragic death served as a wake-up call for the millions who crave artificial beauty in an often-unregulated environment.Heavy pressure to get a job and desperate to be prettier are the main reasons for more people in China and other countries to undergo surgery. China has tried in the past decade to manage and supervise its medical cosmetology industry. In 2001, the Ministry of Health issued regulations on the cosmetic plastic industry, elaborating the procedures of registration, certification of the staff and other requirements. In 2009, the ministry introduced the categorization system for cosmetic surgeries and elaborated the scope of different medical organizations. On Nov 5, Vice-Minister Ma said in a conference on the development of China's medical cosmetology industry in Guangzhou that a guideline for China's medical cosmetology industry should be finished as soon as possible. And next, China will wage a national crackdown on unqualified medical cosmetology organizations to regulate the cosmetic plastic industry and to protect women, which is expected to be exemplary for the world. And we do hope the tragedy would stop.  Jenny from womenofchina.cn
    newsletter
       
    • To the Director Women of china, Greetings from Action for Integrated Approach To Development Initiative (AFIADI) Kampala Uganda and Bishop Samuel Ssekadde our Chairman,My names are Joseph Musajjawaza the founder. AFIADI is a non governmental,not ...Joseph Musajjawaza from Uganda East Africa
    • Dear Women in China Staff to Shanghai, It is our pleasure to invite you to attend the Shanghai Business Forum. Shanghai Business Forum is a series of events for those who do business in and outside of China, create opportunities, and drive chang ...Shanghai Business Forum from Shanghai
    • Sirs, I have published a feminist paper about the women's situation in France. http://www.huffingtonpost.fr/pauline-gavrilov/la-politique-une-affaire-de-femmes_b_4925897.html My paper shows the importance of women in high level at technolo ...pauline_gavrilov@yahoo.fr from France
    • Dear Sirs, I am interested to visit China and learn the Chinese language. Please send me a few - free of charge internet addresses - to learn the Chinese language for BEGINNERS ONLINE. Thank you for your help Best regar ...Giuseppe from Italy
    • I’d like to have an interview with the president or vice president about her professional works, and thoughts about leadership. The interview could be conducted via email, skype, phone or in person. My name is Hyeonsuk Lim, and current GMAP stude ...Hyeonsuk Lim from Republic of Korea
    • Hi, I am looking into doing charity work and as music is my profession i have taken an interest in Sound of Yida - Love Music Classroom Project. Has anyone got a contact for this project as I am interested to get involved in the project? Tha ...mica atkinson from China, Guangzhou
    • I am interested to know how Chines women feel about their opportunities for business ownership in mainland China. Prefer an English response, but Chinese is welcome, THXBrad Glass from Ohio
    • Chairman Ma Zedong once said that in China women uphold half of the sky. I am preparing an invited editorial on healthcare in women in China and would like very much to quote his saying in Chinese in his own calligraphy. I wonder if you would be ab ...Professor Tsung O. Cheng, M.D. from Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
    • Dear Mrs Mr I have found a picture on your site of Karen Mok Karen Mok (Mo Wenwei)[Photo source: forum.home.news.cn. I am wondering if I can use this photo for job that I am doing for a Branding book. The book and power point presentation is only ...Charlotte Therme-Lindell from Netherlands
    • Hello ! your article ( Traditional Chinese Meals for New Mothers Popular in New York September 18, 2013 by Mo Peiwen) mentioned that a certain Zhou (in Flushing Chinatown in Queens, New York) supplies meals to chinese mothers in Queens, Brooklyn and ...margaret from new york USA
      • Seek the Most Beautiful Families
      • 银川妇女
      • Our Chinese Dream
      • 台港澳婦女頻道
      在线翻译