Something known as "ghost surgeries" has become somewhat prevalent over the past several years. What this means is that expects one surgeon to do the surgery and then another surgeon steps in instead. It's unclear as to how often these types of surgeries occur, but they do occur throughout the United States. When this happens, it can prompt surgeon malpractice lawsuits.
The American College of Surgeons explains to members that it is against ethics to mislead a patient about who the doctor performing their surgery will be. While this message is out there, it still happens. One person filed a lawsuit against their cardiologist when it was discovered that the surgeon she researched and booked wasn't the one that carried out the surgery.
People spend a significant amount of time researching a doctor to perform their operation. Everyone wants the most skilled professional around. If someone else steps in, not only is the patient being misled, but they may not be getting the best person to perform the job. This can lead to various problems within the surgery and within the healing process.
Medical malpractice claims take place every year. Patients have a right to receive good medical care from the person that they chose as their medical provider. There may be legitimate reasons why a medical provider has to step away. Emergencies do happen and that can be understood. However, when there is a deceitful switch in care providers going on, patients deserve more.
Patients who have experienced a surgical error as a result of not getting the doctor they anticipated, or for any other reason, have legal rights. An investigation can be carried out by a lawyer to find out what went wrong and help a patient understand their rights. As the Citizens for Patients Safety suggests, an informed consent process requires the sharing of all information. Open communication between the surgeon and patient is critical.
Source: 7 News, "When your surgeon isn't your surgeon," Deborah L Shelton, Sept. 29, 2012