At this point we’ve probably all heard the story. It’s a story that swept the nation by storm this week, causing outrage and intrigue across the country. It’s the one about the Vienna man who was ridiculed, trashed, and given false diagnosis, all while he was lying vulnerable and unconscious on an operating table in Reston, Virginia. He went in for a routine colonoscopy, and before he was anesthetized he asked if he could record the post-operation instructions his doctor was giving to him before the procedure so that he would be able to remember them after, even if he was loopy from the anesthesia.
The patient accidentally failed to pause the recording, however, and ended up recording the entire procedure. He listened to it on his way home, and was shocked by what he ended up hearing.
Throughout the procedure, the patient was constantly mocked and dehumanized by the surgical team, and one of the doctors also commented that she was going to write a false diagnosis on the man’s chart. You can listen to the audio clips below, and hear every painful comment made during the procedure.
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The patient, who still remains unidentified for privacy reasons, was awarded $500,000 by a jury this week: $100,000 for defamation of character, $200,000 for punitive damages, and $200,000 for medical malpractice.
The problem with cases like these are that they call into question the morality and ethics of the doctors to whom patients entrust their care, a trust that is such an essential part of the relationship between patients and physicians. When doctors like these ones act out and violate that trust, it gives physicians everywhere a bad name and affects the trust of patients everywhere as well.
We treat each and every patient with the utmost respect at our center, and that’s because we understand that that’s what they deserve. We think it’s so sad to see doctors like this acting so deplorably, and want our patients to know that it’s not the type of behavior that we condone. We expect better from ourselves, and you can expect better from us as well.