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Medical Ethics and Informed Consent?

Been the victim of Medical Malpractice or fighting a malpractice suit? Discuss it here.

Medical Ethics and Informed Consent?

Postby patwin87 » Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:15 am

I have a history of Crohn's disease and bowel obstruction. About a year ago I went to the ER to have a CT scan done because I knew I had a bowel obstruction (nausea, vomiting, unable to go to bathroom x 5 days). I asked for the CT scan and the Dr. said no I was constipated. gave me a laxative and an enema and sent me home. 3 days later I go back, they finally did the CT scan and found the obstruction. I was then heavily medicated. According to the records they gave me 50mg phenergan, 100mg demerol, 1 mg ativan, and 0.5 mg dilaudid all IV) I continued to receive these medicines and 24-36 hours later I had a colonoscopy done. I don't remember it and I don't remember signing informed consent and my husband didn't sign anything as well. Long story short my bowel was perforated which required emergency surgery and left me with an ileostomy. I have requested those records and I have been told there is no record of the colonoscopy or informed consent. I never got a bill and I never saw the Dr. again. Was I too "drugged" up to give an informed consent? Is it possible that I have a malpractice case since I was to "drugged" up to consent to a non-emergency procedure?
patwin87
 
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Medical Ethics and Informed Consent?

Postby advent » Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:22 am

I have a history of Crohn's disease and bowel obstruction. About a year ago I went to the ER to have a CT scan done because I knew I had a bowel obstruction (nausea, vomiting, unable to go to bathroom x 5 days). I asked for the CT scan and the Dr. said no I was constipated. gave me a laxative and an enema and sent me home. 3 days later I go back, they finally did the CT scan and found the obstruction. I was then heavily medicated. According to the records they gave me 50mg phenergan, 100mg demerol, 1 mg ativan, and 0.5 mg dilaudid all IV) I continued to receive these medicines and 24-36 hours later I had a colonoscopy done. I don't remember it and I don't remember signing informed consent and my husband didn't sign anything as well. Long story short my bowel was perforated which required emergency surgery and left me with an ileostomy. I have requested those records and I have been told there is no record of the colonoscopy or informed consent. I never got a bill and I never saw the Dr. again. Was I too "drugged" up to give an informed consent? Is it possible that I have a malpractice case since I was to "drugged" up to consent to a non-emergency procedure?
You might have a case, but it certainly isn't a slam-dunk. The obstruction itself is something of an emergency, and if the colonoscopy was needed, signing a specific consent for it would really be more or less inconsequential. A lot of hospitals have the policy of not doing such things after you've been drugged for exactly the reason you suggest, but it's wrong-headed. Look at the obverse: "Here, sweety, we have this drug that will take away your severe pain, and all you have to do to get it is sign this paper." That isn't informed consent; it's blackmail. Also, perforation is a known risk of the scope, so it isn't malpractice but battery that you're looking at, and if you take it all the way to court, my guess is that it'll boil down to whether a reasonable person in such circumstances would have consented to the procedure, and that's a loser from your side.
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Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 3:13 am


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