Man’s Smartphone Records Proof of Medical Malpractice During Sedated Procedure


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Mistakes are among the most common causes for cases of medical malpractice in Charleston, as well as around the country. It's heart-wrenching when errors are caused by speed or exhaustion. However, it's twice as shocking when doctors intentionally err or lack professionalism in sensitive situations. Unfortunately, this is what one Virginia man has had to endure, and he might not have even been aware of it if he hadn't unintentionally recorded the conversation his doctors had while he was sedated for a procedure. The Doctors Verbally Abused the Sedated Patient According to the Washington Post, a man who was only identified as "D. B." in court documents was scheduled for a routine colonoscopy. D. B. wanted a record the doctor's post-operative instructions, and so he used an audio-record app on his smartphone to capture the conversation. He inadvertently left it recording, and the phone captured the doctors conversing during the procedure as well. Once D. B. was sedated, the tone of the room changed. The anesthesiologist began mocking him for needing too much anesthesia. Then, she began making jokes about a rash he had, insinuating it was an STD, she called him gay, and also loudly pondered whether he had attended a particular women's' college. Arguably, the worst of the verbal abuse occurred when she mocked the man's behavior during pre-op, saying that she wanted to punch him in the face, so she could "man (him) up." The Anesthesiologist told an Assistant to Falsify Records If the personal attacks weren't enough, the anesthesiologist also instructed the assistant to document that the man had hemorrhoids, even though she didn't see any and didn't expect to. The doctor performing the colonoscopy remained silent for most of the procedure, neither encouraging nor discouraging the anesthesiologist's remarks. However, at one point he told an assistant to tell D. B. that he had spoken to him after the procedure and convince the patient that he didn't remember the conversation. At this point, the anesthesiologist piped up and suggested that he speak with the patient, but have someone page him for a fake emergency during the post-op discussion. Clearly amused with her own antics, she further produced an impromptu song about pushing "annoying patients" off on other people. Courts Awarded the Man $500,000 Although the doctor performing the colonoscopy was dismissed from the case early on, the anesthesiologist was held accountable for her actions. The jurors were divided, with at least one member stating that D. B. should receive nothing, while others wanted to award significantly more. They compromised, and awarded him $100,000 for defamation of character, based on the STD remarks, $200,000 for medical malpractice, and they allowed an additional $200,000 for punitive damages.

Charleston Medical Malpractice Attorney

There is absolutely no excuse for this kind of behavior. The doctor in question made the intentional decision to ridicule a patient and to behave unethically. In the end, the courts awarded a just settlement. If you have been on the receiving-end of improper care from a doctor or other medical professional, you may also be entitled to reparations, and your case may help ensure another person does not have to suffer as you have. For a free consultation, please contact us using our online form, or speak with one of our attorneys now by calling 1(800)610-2546.

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