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New York Court Discusses Medical Malpractice Arising Out of Lack of Informed Consent

Many surgical procedures have potential side effects, some of which may be life-altering. Thus, before a patient commits to undergo a surgical procedure, the physician performing the procedure must advise the patient of the known risks of harm, so that the patient can make an informed decision as to whether he or she wants to proceed with the surgery. Thus, if a doctor fails to properly advise a plaintiff of a known risk of harm associated with a procedure, the doctor may be liable for malpractice. This was discussed by a New York appellate court case in which the plaintiff suffered urinary incontinence following a hysterectomy. If you suffered harm due to a negligent gynecologist, it is wise to consult a proficient Rochester gynecology malpractice attorney regarding your potential damages.

Factual Background

Allegedly, the plaintiff underwent a vaginal hysterectomy that was performed by the defendant. Following the hysterectomy, she began to experience urinary incontinence. She subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, alleging that the surgery was unnecessary and that the defendant failed to obtain her informed consent prior to performing the surgery. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, which was denied by the court. The defendant subsequently appealed, but upon review, the appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling.

Medical Malpractice Arising Out of Lack of Informed Consent

In its analysis, the court noted that the defendant made a prima facie showing that he was entitled to dismissal of the claims against him as a matter of law, by producing an expert report that stated that the plaintiff’s urinary incontinence was a consequence of chronic interstitial cystitis, which the plaintiff was diagnosed with following the procedure. The court noted, however, that in opposition to the defendant’s report, the plaintiff set forth an expert report opining that urinary incontinence was a well-known consequence of vaginal hysterectomies and that the plaintiff’s symptoms began shortly after the procedure.

Further, the plaintiff’s expert stated that the manner in which the procedure was performed caused the plaintiff’s harm. Additionally, the court found that the defendant’s expert report did not rebut the position that urinary incontinence was a known risk of vaginal hysterectomies that are performed in the manner in which the plaintiff’s was performed, and did not address the fact that the plaintiff’s urinary incontinence issues only arose after the surgery. Moreover, the plaintiff’s expert opined that the issue of whether the plaintiff’s informed consent was obtained prior to the surgery was a separate and discrete issue that was unrelated to the alleged harm caused by the surgery. As such, the court found that there were sufficient issues of fact to require a trial.

Meet with an Experienced Malpractice Attorney

If you were harmed due to incompetent care provided by a gynecologist, it is essential to meet with a Rochester gynecology malpractice attorney to protect your rights to seek compensation for your harm. The knowledgeable attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, LLP Personal Injury Lawyers will set forth compelling arguments on your behalf to help you seek any compensation you may be owed. You can contact us through our form online or at 585-653-7343 to set up a confidential and free meeting.

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