A woman in Torrance, California, was horrified to find out that when she was completely knocked out from anesthesia during surgery, the anesthesiologist and a nurse reportedly affixed a fake mustache above her lip and yellow tear drops coming down her cheeks, and snapped photos of the unconscious patient in this state. Adding insult to injury, the woman found out about the tasteless prank after she returned to her job as a surgical supply purchaser at the very hospital she received surgery. She claims that she was either approached by coworkers who had seen the photos or ignored by people she formerly had communication with.
And now she's suing. And if I were a betting woman, I'd say she's going to win. Big.
Torrance Memorial Hospital has acknowledged the fact that the photo "demonstrated poor judgment" but claims it was "intended to be humorous in nature." The woman, on the other hand, claims in her lawsuit that she was fully anesthetized rather than sedated "for the sole purpose of humiliating and embarrassing the patient." The lawsuit also says, "Perhaps the most vulnerable position any human being will ever endure in their life is a time when they are placed under full anesthesia." And I can't say I disagree. I would be pretty mortified to find out people were "defacing" me while I was having surgery as if I had passed out at a party from drinking too much.
Whether this was merely meant as a light-hearted joke or not, the fact these medical professionals completely abused their power and responsibility for fodder is unacceptable. When patients go under anesthesia, they're entrusting doctors and nurses with their body. They're entrusting them to not do anything they didn't consent to -- and this woman clearly didn't consent to this. And let's not even get into how this is violating all sorts of HIPPA laws.
Like I said, I'd be shocked if this woman didn't wind up walking away with a serious chunk of change after this lawsuit is over. And I wouldn't be surprised if the anesthesiologist and nurse wind up losing their jobs.
Was the "joke" really worth it, guys?
What do you think of this?
Image via LA County Superior Court