The court ordered a doctor and clinic to pay $6.1 million after a patient suffered complications following a medical procedure. At the heart of the issue was whether or not the doctor obtained informed consent prior to performing a procedure that left her in chronic pain. In this article, we’ll discuss the legal concepts that played out in this lawsuit.
Doctors are required to obtain consent prior to performing any medical procedure. The concept of “informed” consent takes it a step further. A doctor should give a patient an honest rundown of the risks and benefits of the surgery or procedure they are about to perform. In this case, an arbitrator ruled that the doctor did not give the patient an honest review of the possible consequences of an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, which is an imaging test that makes use of X-ray technology and an endoscope. The test helps doctors diagnose problems related to the bile ducts, liver, gall bladder, and pancreas.
The plaintiff explained that she went to the doctor complaining of stomach issues. She met with a specialist who diagnosed her with nonspecific GI problems. Two years later, concerned that something more serious might be going on, the plaintiff sought a second opinion. It was the doctor from whom she got the second opinion that she is filing a lawsuit against. This doctor ordered the endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography. The procedure was performed in 2017.
It didn’t go well. The plaintiff ended up immediately going into emergency care and spent the next 28 days at the hospital racking up nearly $1 million in medical expenses. She required six subsequent surgeries to drain her abdomen. Her lungs collapsed. She was placed on a breathing machine.
The quality of the plaintiff’s life was severely reduced over the next several years. She has been in and out of emergency rooms and may lose her pancreas within the next 5 to 15 years.
The plaintiff contends that had she known about the many risks concerning the procedure, she would have elected not to have it performed. This, essentially, is why the doctor is culpable for medical malpractice. But for his failure to inform the patient of her options, she would not be living in chronic pain and facing the probability of a reduced lifespan.
Half of the settlement that she was awarded will go to pay for her ongoing in-home nursing care that she now requires. She will get full reimbursement for all of her medical expenses. She was awarded more than $1 million for lost wages, and she got another $500,000 for pain and suffering.
Call a Tampa Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured by a negligent medical doctor, call the Tampa medical malpractice attorneys at Palmer | Lopez today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can recover damages related to your medical expenses, lost wages, and reduced quality of life.