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New York Court Addresses Scope of Informed Consent

Any time a person needs to undergo a surgical procedure, the doctor performing the procedure is required to obtain the person’s informed consent. In other words, the doctor must explain to the person the risks, benefits, and potential outcomes of the surgery, and obtain consent from the person to proceed with the procedure. Even if a doctor obtains informed consent prior to performing a procedure, if the doctor exceeds the scope of the consent it may constitute surgical malpractice, as discussed in a recent case ruled on by a New York court of appeals. If your surgeon did not obtain your valid consent prior to your surgery and you suffered harm as a result you should speak with a trusted Syracuse surgical malpractice attorney who can assist you in seeking any compensation you may be owed.

Factual Background of the Surgical Procedure

Reportedly, the defendant doctor performed an exploratory laparoscopic surgical procedure on the plaintiff at the defendant hospital. Prior to undergoing the procedure, the surgeon obtained consent from the plaintiff to remove her fallopian tubes in the event a malignancy was discovered during the surgery. The plaintiff underwent the procedure, during which her fallopian tubes were removed despite the fact that no malignancy was found.

It is reported that the plaintiff then filed a surgical malpractice claim against the defendants. The defendants filed motions to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims for failure to serve the complaint in a timely manner and for failure to state a meritorious claim. The trial court denied the defendants’ motions, and the defendants appealed.

Reasonable Excuse for Delay and Meritorious Claim  

The appellate court found that the plaintiff had a reasonable cause for the delay in serving the complaint and that the complaint set forth a meritorious claim. Thus, the appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling. First, the court noted that the plaintiff’s delay in serving the complaint was due to the need to obtain and review the records that formed the basis of the complaint, which constituted justifiable grounds for the delay. Regarding the merits of the claim, the court found that the medical records produced by the plaintiff in support of her claim showed that the plaintiff consented to the removal of her fallopian tubes only if a malignancy was found. However, her fallopian tubes were removed despite the absence of a malignancy, and her bowel and colon were damaged as a result. As such, the court found that her claim had merit.

Speak with a Skilled Syracuse Surgical Malpractice Attorney About Your Case

Undergoing surgery can be a daunting experience. While the process of obtaining a patient’s informed consent to perform a surgery is meant to ensure the patient fully understands the risks of the surgery, when informed consent is not properly obtained it can form the basis of a surgical malpractice claim. If you or a loved one were harmed following a procedure that was performed without informed consent, you should speak with a skilled Syracuse surgical malpractice attorney regarding your case and what evidence you must produce to show your surgeon should be held liable. The capable surgical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, LLP Personal Injury Lawyers will aggressively pursue any compensation you may be owed for your harm. We can be contacted through our online form or at 315-479-9000 or through the online form to set up a conference to discuss your case.

 

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