- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 14, 2003

From combined dispatches
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. The surviving members of the Bee Gees are criticizing doctors' treatment of their brother Maurice Gibb, who died after emergency surgery.
Robin and Barry Gibb questioned the decision by doctors at Mount Sinai Medical Center to go ahead with the operation after Maurice had suffered cardiac arrest.
The 53-year-old Maurice, a recovering alcoholic who played bass and keyboard for the band, entered the hospital Wednesday for emergency surgery to correct an intestinal blockage. Hospital spokeswoman Kathleen Dorkowski said he experienced cardiac arrest the next day, before the operation was performed.
Maurice died Sunday after being in critical condition for three days.
"We believe mistakes were made and time was wasted," Robin, Maurice's twin, told the British Broadcasting Corp. on Sunday.
"Protocol was not followed. Someone is responsible for the death," Barry told the BBC.
"From the fact that they had to operate on Maurice during the shock of cardiac arrest is very questionable, and we will pursue every factor, every element, every second of the timeline of the final hours of Maurice's life," he said. "We will pursue that relentlessly. That will be our quest from now on."
Miss Dorkowski yesterday said she could not comment on the brothers' accusations because of patient privacy laws.
Under Florida law, health officials can disclose information about investigations of doctors and hospitals only if state boards find complaints against them are justified. That process can take weeks.
Miss Dorkowski said, however, that hospital personnel were in discussions with the Gibb family.
"As we would do with any family of any patient, if they have concerns, we are here and willing to discuss the matter with them, and that's what we're doing," she said.
The brothers did not immediately return a call yesterday to Robin Gibb's home in Miami Beach. Bee Gees manager Allen Kovac had no information about any legal action, said Kovac aide Carol Peters.
The Bee Gees, short for the Brothers Gibb, were best known as a falsetto-voice disco sensation during the 1970s, with a slew of hits from the movie "Saturday Night Fever," including "Stayin' Alive" and "Night Fever" and the follow-up album, "Spirits Having Flown."
But their success actually began in the late 1960s and included such non-disco hits as "I've Gotta Get a Message to You," "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?" and "New York Mining Disaster 1941."
"People accuse us of being nothing more than a disco band now," Maurice said in a 1978 interview. "But they don't know what they're talking about. If you listen to our records, you'll find that there's dance music. But there are also ballads like 'More Than a Woman.' And there are some very beautiful, undanceable songs, too."
The Gibbs' younger brother, Andy, who had a successful solo career, died from a heart ailment in 1988 at age 30 after years of drug abuse.
Fans sent flowers to the hospital and the brothers' homes in England, said Pete Bassett, a spokesman for Barry Gibb.


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