I was recently contacted by an individual who had endured significant complications following a surgical procedure. It turns out this individual’s doctor allowed another doctor to perform the surgery without obtaining consent from the patient. In fact, the patient had not met or even heard the doctor’s name until several weeks after the surgery, when complications began to arise. Moreover, the doctor who actually performed the surgery was much less experienced than the original doctor.
Believe it or not, this happens often. It is referred to as ghost surgery. There are obvious concerns with this practice, one of which is the lack of informed consent. In Missouri, physicians are required to obtain a patient’s informed consent prior to performing a surgical procedure, with the exception of emergencies. The identity of the surgeon is crucial to informed consent. Failing to obtain proper informed consent may open the surgeon up to liability for medical malpractice.
If you have been the victim of a ghost surgery, contact the lawyers at Ponder Zimmermann LLC.