A patient in Virginia found that he had a very good reason to file a medical malpractice lawsuit when he played back a recording that took place during his colonoscopy. He had turned on the recording device while being given instructions, so he wouldn’t forget them. He left the device on, simply because he didn’t think about turning it off. Since it recorded all throughout the procedure, everything that the anesthesiologist and others in the room said was saved for him to listen to at a later date. When he listened to it, he found that the surgical team had insulted and mocked him during his entire procedure.
The recording, from 2013, allowed the patient to hear the team making fun of a genital rash and saying they were going to give him a diagnosis of a condition that was false and that he didn’t even have. The anesthesiologist also stated she wanted to punch the patient in the face, and that he should “man up.” They called the patient a “retard,” and also stated that they were going to note that he had hemorrhoids, even though he didn’t. The humiliation he suffered upon hearing the recording brought him to file suit against the entire team in the room at the time of the procedure.
Medical school teaches all doctors to treat their patients with respect and dignity, and that should extend even into a patient’s unconscious state. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. How many other patients have been mocked or mistreated while they were under anesthesia is not known. The vast majority of them would not have a recording device running at the time of their procedure, and it was a fluke that this patient did so. However, more patients may now consider doing this, just to ensure that they are being treated properly and fairly.
Trusting a medical professional can be difficult for some people, so it’s very important that these professionals earn that trust and show that they deserve the trust their patients place in them. With that in mind, the treatment of patients like the man who was mocked is completely uncalled for and unacceptable. The anesthesiologist and her practice must pay the patient $500,000 in damages, while the other doctor had their case dismissed. The fact that the procedure was recorded was what brought it to light, but there were other ways it could have been discovered. There were technicians in the room, for example, who could have reported the incident.
Any patient who has been victimized by a doctor may want to contact a medical malpractice attorney.Medical malpractice lawyers specialize in cases where doctors and other medical professionals have made mistakes or errors in judgment. Because those errors can be physically and mentally life-changing for a patient, it is vital that they be discovered and that justice is served to patients who have been victims of medical mistakes. While physical issues are the most common problems patients sue for, mental anguish and mistreatment, as was seen in this case, can also be grounds for a valid medical malpractice suit.
At Leeseberg & Valentine, we take pride in fighting for our clients to get the compensation they deserve when dealing with medical malpractice. Contact our medical malpractice lawyers in Columbus, Ohiotoday at 1- and speak to one of our law firms partners about your case.