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(LEAD) Court questions suspect in alleged murder of doctor

All Headlines 17:43 January 02, 2019

(ATTN: ADDS more details in last 2 paras)

SEOUL, Jan. 2 (Yonhap) -- A Seoul court held a hearing Wednesday to decide whether to issue an arrest warrant for a man on charges that he killed a doctor while receiving treatment at a general hospital.

The 30-year-old suspect, only identified by his surname Park, is said to have wielded a knife at his psychiatrist, Lim Se-won, while receiving treatment at Seoul's Kangbuk Samsung Hospital on Monday.

Heading to the local court, Park kept silent when asked by reporters about the motive for the alleged murder.

Park began to wield the knife at Lim's clinic office and stabbed Lim in his chest multiple times, according to police. Lim was taken to the emergency room but passed away.

Police said that Park has confessed to the killing but has not clarified his motive.

The police believe it to have been a premeditated murder, given that the suspect had carried the lethal weapon with him.

The court was expected to make a decision on Park's arrest later in the day.

Lim's death is raising awareness about the safety of medical staff at hospitals.

Last year, the National Assembly passed a revised bill stipulating heavier punishment on those who violently attack medical staff at emergency rooms.

But the revised law is limited to emergency rooms, raising the need to draw up more safety measures for hospital staff in general.

A younger sister of Lim called for efforts to establish an environment that will guarantee the safety of medical staff and also provide treatment and support for those who suffer from mental pain without being socially stigmatized.

"Hospital staff worry about their right to treat patients in a safe environment, but patients also want to be treated respectfully," Lim Se-hee, the bereaved family member, told a press conference. "We hope that wise solutions for them could be crafted."

This photo taken on Jan. 2, 2019, shows a 30-year-old suspect, who allegedly killed a psychiatrist while getting treatment at a general hospital, heading to a local court for arraignment. (Yonhap)

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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