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Patient wins defamation and medical malpractice suit

On Behalf of | Jun 24, 2015 | Doctor Errors

When people hear the term “malpractice,” most automatically envision grave injuries or even death. However, a shocking story shows that people can be harmed without experiencing bodily injury. The story centers on a male patient who inadvertently recorded the events that transpired during his colonoscopy procedure. The results are both shocking and a gross display of lack of professionalism.

The patient reportedly merely meant to record the doctor’s post-procedure instructions, but what he captured was a slew of insults and mockery instead. Some of the derogatory comments he recorded include calling the patient a derogatory word for a mentally-challenged person, expressing a desire to punch him in the face, saying a rash on the patient was syphilis and stating he had “tuberculosis of the penis.”

While the gastroenterologist in charge the procedure contributed little to the insulting discussion, he did nothing to discourage the unprofessional discussion. Other team members who did contribute to the insulting commentary include an assistant and an anesthesiologist. The patient subsequently filed a lawsuit against the two doctors for medical malpractice and defamation.

The defamation is clear, but what about the malpractice? Well, it seems that in addition to mocking and insulting the unconscious patient, the team engaged in discussions about avoiding the man after surgery. The two doctors reportedly instructed the assistant to mislead the man into thinking he had already spoken to the doctor or tell him a lie about the doctor receiving a fake page.

Perhaps most damning in regards to malpractice is that the three healthcare workers apparently all agreed to write a false diagnosis of hemorrhoids on the patient’s chart. Language associated with the lawsuit reportedly called this a falsification of medical records. A jury awarded the patient $500,000 after a mere three days of trial.

With the right New Jersey attorney by your side, it is possible to seek compensation for medical hurts that only the patient can see and feel.

Source: The Washington Post, “Anesthesiologist trashes sedated patient — and it ends up costing her,” Tom Jackman, June 23, 2015

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