Opinion: This Liposuction Madness Needs to Stop – By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

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Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jnr., Ph.D.

I am quite certain that it happens far more often than it gets reported in the news. I am talking about the recent tragic but wholly avoidable death of Ms. Stacy Offei-Darko, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the National Entrepreneurship Innovation Program (NEIP), who died while undergoing the plastic surgical procedure called Liposuction.

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It was wholly avoidable because it was not a procedure on which the continued existence and survival of the deceased patient or victim depended. It was purely cosmetic, or one undergone for the subjective enhancement of one’s physical appearance or beauty. And as we routinely say, “Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.” In other words, it is the onlooker or spectator who determines what is most pleasing to his/her sight or the woeful lack thereof.

In the case of the NEIP CEO, who also happened to have once dated Mr. Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, the so-called maverick Assin-Central’s New Patriotic Party’s Member of Parliament, I presume, by whom the deceased also had a daughter, the purpose of such cosmetic surgical procedure was allegedly to reduce the thickness of her thighs and forearms by the suctioning or transference of fat from these body parts to other less endowed parts of the body, as I understand it.

It is a routine procedure in most technologically advanced countries. But even here, there are often reports of botched cosmetic surgical procedures some of which end up costing the lives of patients. There is, for instance, the globally infamous case of the wholly avoidable death of the mother of Hip-Hop musician Kanye West. Mr. West’s mother, like Ms. Offei-Darko, was very well educated by schooling standards. To be certain Mr. West’s late mother was known to have acquired the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in the English language and was a professor at the Chicago State University.

What the foregoing implies is that in either case, the victim knew more than enough to have so unwisely presumed to put themselves in harm’s way. The bottom line here was that these two victims had quite a bit of money to burn, as it were. But, of course, Mr. West’s mother had a far greater chance to have survived this procedure, since she lived in a society and an environment where such surgical procedures are closely monitored and supervised by professional standards boards and law-enforcement agencies.

In Ghana, on the other hand, the situation is totally different and far more precarious because the medical profession, in general, is both poorly monitored and supervised. It also well appears that Mr. Agyapong, a quite well-heeled entrepreneur, by his own public testimony, had a good relationship with the mother of his 6-year-old daughter. He is also known to have resided here in the United States for quite a remarkable temporal span and is, in fact, also known to either own or maintain several landed and/or real-estate properties in the Tri-State Area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

What I am obviously driving at is that Mr. Agyapong could easily have had the late Ms. Offei-Darko undergo her liposuction procedure right here in the United States, where she had a much greater chance of survival and complete recovery. Of course, the victim led an independent life from her ex-lover or father of her daughter, whatever the case may be. But what I find to be rather fruitless, ultimately, is the fury-tinged decision or vow by Mr. Agyapong to have the alleged culprit involved in the death of Ms. Offei-Darko, namely, Dr. Dominic Obeng-Andoh, the proprietor of the Obengfo Hospital – actually Obengfo Clinic – where the botched surgical procedure occurred, pay dearly for his gross professional misconduct through the courts.

The clinic has since been shuttered, while police investigators look into the matter. Dr. Obeng-Andoh may be guilty of gross professional misconduct if only because he has established a negative reputation for rampantly botching cosmetic surgical procedures. It is also widely rumored that Dr. Obeng-Andoh may not be properly licensed to practice cosmetic surgery. I perfectly sympathize with Mr. Agyapong’s determination to justiciably bite Dr. Obeng-Andoh and the latter’s janitor, Mr. Edward Amponsah, where it hurts the most. Which could only and obviously mean the imposition of hefty fines on both men. Mr. Amponsah has also been charged with impersonation, for allegedly posing as the brother of the deceased to have the mortal remains of Ms. Offei-Darko embalmed without the knowledge of her family.

Ultimately, though, justice cannot really be served to either Ms. Offei-Darko or her 6-year-old orphan. At best, it is deterrence that Mr. Agyapong may end up achieving for both himself and his daughter. And then for all potential victims of the Dr. Obeng-Andohs of Ghana’s cosmetic surgery industry. At least for a brief while, as is characteristic of our national culture and legal system, until the next bout of massacre occurs.

*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com  Ghanaffairs

The views expressed by this author remain solely their own and are not to be taken as the view of the Editorial Board of www.africanewsanalysis.com,  www.zongonews.com and ZongoNews Radio & TV