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Tourist faces upgraded charges over death in Sydney clinic

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SYDNEY >> A Chinese tourist with no Australian medical license has been charged with the manslaughter after police say she gave a woman an anesthetic during a procedure at a Sydney beauty clinic last week and the woman later died.

Shao Jie, 33, was not required to appear in Sydney’s Central Local Court on Tuesday when a prosecutor announced that charges against her had been upgraded. Manslaughter carries a potential maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.

Shao allegedly administered drugs to Jean Huang, 35, during a breast procedure at Sydney’s Medi Beauty Laser and Contour Clinic last Wednesday.

Huang was taken to hospital in critical condition and died Friday, police said.

Shao had been charged last week with causing reckless grievous bodily harm and using poison to endanger life. Each charge carries a potential maximum of 10 years in prison.

Court documents allege Shao administered “an intoxicating substance,” tramadol and Lidocaine to Huang during the procedure. Lidocaine is a numbing agent, and tramadol is a painkiller. She also allegedly injected Huang with Hyaluronic acid, also known as hyaluronan. It is a restricted substance that is commonly used to the cosmetic industry as a soft tissue filler to smooth facial wrinkles.

Shao’s lawyer, Mary Underwood, said last week that her client was a graduate of a Chinese medical university and had arrived in Australia several days before the botched procedure on a tourist visa. Shao was a dermatology specialist who had practiced in Great Britain as well as China, Underwood said.

Shao has been in custody since her arrest and has yet to enter pleas. She will appear on court next on Oct. 31.

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