Legal Question in Health Care Law in Pennsylvania

My mother recently underwent a gastric bypass surgery. The doctor said due to her scarring from her c-section and removal of her gall bladder, he wasnt able to perform the gastric bypass. Since he didnt want to go through the inconvenience of waking her from the anesthetic and putting her under again, he made the decision on his own, without my mother's knowledge to give her the gastric sleeve which is a relatively new weightloss procedure that she knew nothing about. Could she sue or would it be

Asked on 6/09/10, 8:40 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

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While there are other major facts to consider, from what you have described it seems like your mother would have a case for medical malpractice based on lack of informed consent.

The doctor's inconvenience of waking your mother up isn't generally sufficient to justify making a major medical decision without your mother's consent. As you indicated the gastric sleeve is a newer procedure and clearly not what your mother was informed of or consented to.

While your mother may have difficulty proving an injury from the new procedure, I would definitely recommend contacting a medical malpractice attorney in your area to assess her options. When you meet this attorney make sure to bring any documentation that your mother may have signed regarding her consent to the original procedure.

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Answered on 6/16/10, 11:33 am

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