Liar Liar – Medical Scrubs on Fire?

March 23, 2016

Yale New Haven Hospital Surgeons Accused of Removing Wrong Rib and Lying About It

Lying doctor

Medical professionals should own up to their mistakes.

As a medical malpractice firm, our lawyers have heard about pretty much every medical mistake out there. Many times, the mistakes are not considered malpractice. Sometimes, they are. But there are times when some acts are so clearly negligent that they are impossible to justify. What makes these acts worse though, is if the doctors involved in committing them lie about it. That is why, when I read this particular headline, “Patient accuses Yale doctors of cover-up, removing wrong body part” it made me sit up and take notice.

Wrong Body Part Surgery is a Never Mistake

We have previously written on this site about what are called never mistakes. These are things that should never, ever happen, and are generally always medical malpractice when they occur. Operating on the wrong body part is an example of a never mistake.  And it is exactly this kind of never event that is alleged in the case of patient Deborah Craven.

Removing the Wrong Rib and Lying About it?

In Ms. Craven’s case, the doctors were to remove a rib due to a precancerous lesion. It is alleged, however, that during surgery, the doctors removed the wrong rib. Then, since Ms. Craven was still in pain, the hospital performed an x-ray, saw the wrong rib had been removed and put her back into surgery immediately. There is a disagreement about what Ms. Craven was told. The hospital claims it apologized immediately and told her what had happened. Ms. Craven’s lawyer, however, states that she was told, not that the wrong rib had been removed, but that not enough of the rib had been removed. In other words, according to the allegations, she was lied to about why she needed another surgery. It is also alleged that the patient asked for a medical resident, who had been included in the first surgery, not be included in the second, since she had not known about his presence beforehand. But, that he was allowed to be part of the second surgery as well.

Serious Allegations

These are incredibly serious allegations. Doctors make mistakes, but to make such a serious error and then to lie about why a patient needs to have surgery? That combines a “never event” with what I will call a “never reaction.” Medical professionals should never compound mistakes with dishonesty. Only time will tell about the truth of the matter.

Click here to read the legal complaint by Ms. Craven and her lawyer.


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