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Rick Shapiro
| Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn

ThinkstockPhotos-465902758-727x464A Virginia (VA) man who was about to be put under anesthesia for a colonoscopy procedure decided to turn on his cellphone’s audio recorder before the procedure so it would capture the doctor’s post-operation instructions.  As soon as he pressed play on his way home, he was shocked to find he recorded the entire examination. Even more shocking is the fact that the surgical team mocked and insulted him as soon as he drifted off to sleep.

The man’s phone, in his pants, was placed beneath him under the operating table and inadvertently recorded the audio of the entire procedure, court records show. The doctors’ attorneys argued that the recording was illegal, but the man’s attorneys noted that Virginia is a “one-party consent” state, meaning only one person involved in a conversation need agree to the recording.

“After five minutes of talking to you in pre-op,” the anesthesiologist told the sedated patient, “I wanted to punch you in the face and man you up a little bit,” she was recorded saying.

When a medical assistant noted the man had a rash, the anesthesiologist warned her not to touch it, saying she might get “some syphilis on your arm or something,” then added, “It’s probably tuberculosis in the penis, so you’ll be all right.”  Later, when the assistant noted that the man reported getting queasy when watching a needle placed in his arm, the anesthesiologist remarked on the recording, “Well, why are you looking then, retard?”

Then the anesthesiologist said, “I’m going to mark ‘hemorrhoids’ even though we don’t see them and probably won’t,” and did write a diagnosis of hemorrhoids on the man’s chart, which the lawsuit said was a falsification of medical records.

The jury awarded the man $100,000 for defamation — $50,000 each for the comments about the man having syphilis and tuberculosis — and $200,000 for medical malpractice, as well as the $200,000 in punitive damages.  As Virginia medical malpractice lawyers we are horrified at the lack of professionalism and the cruelty of these doctors.  Though this is not a typical case of medical malpractice, medical mistakes do happen. Our experienced team of Virginia Beach & Norfolk medical malpractice attorneys have created a guide to help victims of medical malpractice.

Click the link to download “Tips from our Experienced Medical Malpractice Legal Team




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