Medical malpractice attorneys Ed Ciarimboli and Molly Clark answer a question from a viewer who recently had an elective procedure done. After the surgery, the viewer was left unable to smell or taste anything. The doctor had informed the viewer of the risk but is there anything that can be done legally?
Dave Kuharchik: We’re talking about an issue during a surgery in this edition of “The Law & You.” Once again with us tonight are attorneys Molly Clark and Ed Ciarimboli. Good to see you tonight.
Ed Ciarimboli: So this question is right in our wheel house so we’re super excited about that.
Dave: Let’s get to this and see if we can hash this one out for John in Nuangola. John said, “I recently went in for an elective procedure and came out without being able to smell or taste. The doctor told me after it was a risk. Is there anything I can do?” So i guess the question I have is if the doctor says “Look, it could happen,” when it did happen, does that take him off the hook?
Ed: The problem is the doctor didn’t tell him until after the procedure. That’s the problem.
Dave: Because he didn’t say it upfront doesn’t get the doctor off the hook.
Ed: Correct. Molly and I actually tried a case exactly like this two years ago here in Luzerne County. We got a 1.5 million dollar verdict for somebody who lost their sense of taste; He went in for an elective procedure and the doctor did not tell him that the loss of taste was a potential complication. He would of never gone through the procedure because it wasn’t an emergency procedure. These are good cases, informed consent cases. The law just recently changed on this as well; I want Molly to tell you a little bit more about it, requiring more specifics on informed consent. At the end of the day, it’s the patient’s right to completely know about the surgery. This is one we know a lot about.
Molly Clark: When obtaining informed consent, the doctor has to tell you about the risks, the alternatives, and the benefits to the procedure so, as a patient, you go in knowing whether or not you want to go through the procedure. Importantly, this has to come from the doctor; It can’t come from the nurse or anyone else in the office, it has to come from the doctor. It has to be documented as well so you’ll be able to find it right in your medical records. Between the consent in the medical records, the written consent, and what they tell you, we’d be able to help you out and tell you if you have an informed consent case.
Dave: No one better to call than these two and, of course, the rest of the team at Fellerman and Ciarimboli. If you have an issue like this, results matter with attorneys Molly Clark and Ed Ciarimboli, we’ll see you next time.
Ed: Thanks Dave.
Dave: pahomepage.com and ‘The Law & You” are always there for you.
The Law & You is a nightly feature on channels WBRE-TV 28 and WYOU-TV 22 where the attorneys from Fellerman & Ciarimboli answer legal questions. If you have a question that you want answered by the Law & You attorneys, please submit the form on this page or call the hotline at 1-888-570-HURT.