When you went to the emergency room for your sore throat and some minor difficulty breathing, you didn’t think much of it. You thought they’d give you antibiotics and send you home. You hoped they might be able to give you pain medication, too.
While there, you suddenly felt very dizzy, and you passed out. You were dehydrated from not drinking enough and woke up with an IV in your arm. It wasn’t until you sat up and saw blood that you started to panic.
When a nurse came in, you tried to ask what happened. She was rushing to take care of this sudden bleeding, which you later found out was a result of a botched tonsilectomy. You didn’t even know you were going to have surgery; there was no reason that you could understand, and you weren’t informed.
If you’re operated on without consent, you may have a case
If you’re operated on when you don’t need to have surgery, you may have a case against the medical team. While there are cases, in the ER especially, where doctors have to quickly decide on the steps to take, it is also important to give a patient information and to allow them to decide what they want to do. In your case, you just needed an IV, but an overeager surgeon ordered a tonsilectomy. You were mad, because you hadn’t tried antibiotics or other solutions, and you had not even been diagnosed. On top of that, they botched the surgery and caused significant blood loss, so you had to stay in the hospital for several days.
In this situation, a lack of communication could be what led to your discomfort and near-death situation. While you passed out from dehydration, someone may have assumed it was from difficulty breathing due to your swollen tonsils. Regardless, if you were not informed and had not been diagnosed, it would be hard to agree that a surgery was the right choice, especially since less invasive options could have been used prior to turning to emergency surgery.
If you find that you’ve been operated on without consent, that the operation went badly or that you were given any kind of treatment that you weren’t expecting, you may have a medical malpractice case. While medical providers do have a responsibility to do what is best in an emergency, they also need to try to inform their patients and to be transparent with the treatments they provide.