Dutch women sue hospitals over breast implant leaks

A young hand touches and holds an old wrinkled hand in hospitalA group of four Dutch women who were given faulty breast implants made by French company PIP are suing several hospitals and private clinics for damages, broadcaster Nos reports.

The French firm which made the implants is now bankrupt, as is the importer to the Netherlands.

Hospitals and clinics are refusing to pay compensation and using the legal argument that it is unreasonable to hold them responsible for faulty medical supplies.

But law firm SAP Advocaten, which specialises in medical injuries, says the clause is out-dated and that it is more than reasonable to hold a doctor of hospital to account for the choices he made. Patients should be able to trust their doctors to take good decisions based on their expertise, the lawyers say.

Around 1,4000 women in the Netherlands had PIP implants which had to be removed because of the risk of tearing and leaks. The implants had been filled with industrial-grade silicone.

Use of the implants was banned in the Netherlands in 2010 after the French authorities reported a number of problems. However, it has been claimed 47 reports of problems were made to the Dutch health ministry between 2002 and 2008 and that nothing was done.

Earlier this year, Dutch plastic surgeons agreed to set up a breast implants register with detailed information about the breast reconstructions and enlargements they carry out.

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