Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sexual Assault by your Anesthesiologist, a Worry for Seniors

Got your attention with that heading, didn't I? Unfortunately, it does happen and here's how I found out about its happening at my eye surgery hospital.

The eye center I referred to in earlier posts did not have its own on campus surgical hospital as yet.  It is being built. So my doctor from the center is doing the surgery out of another hospital which was bought by the Cleveland Clinic. It is routine for me to do a Google search for anything new I am experiencing and so I slugged the name of the hospital into the Google search engine to check it out.

Imagine my surprise when the first few returns all were about an anesthesiologist from that hospital arrested for sexual assault of a patient undergoing surgery there. It had happened two months earlier.  There was a picture of him in the orange jail jumpsuit with my search results. I read the articles and it was clear he was in jail, likely to remain there, and had been fired. The woman he had assaulted was 36 years old.

Next stage: worrying--Well, I was 65 to her 36 so less likely to be a subject of such an assault plus how likely was it that they had two such people in the same hospital? Nevertheless, it had still taken me aback that he had been employed by the hospital doing my surgery. So I did another search, this time about the overall occurrence of sexual assaults of patients during surgery.  Unfortunately, it happens more than I thought it did and the likeliest person was your anesthesiologist (because you are unconscious).

Finally, I  made the decision to go ahead based on I did not want to go to another eye surgeon.  My eye surgeon at the eye center was now the best eye doctor I'd ever had and I was not about to easily give him up. I did, however, mention my knowledge to my surgeon and to the anesthesiologist assigned to me as I wanted them to know I had researched the situation.  In general, it is a good idea to let any professional working on you know that you might be as smart as they are.  They are a lot more careful with you as a result.

So, in general, I recommend that you go ahead and do Google searches whenever you face a new situation just as a precaution to avoid unpleasant surprises.  There is nothing like being fully informed.  Knowledge, as they say, is power.

For those of you wondering about liability, it is likely that the hospital is going to pay big bucks to the assaulted patient for having this doctor in its employ. Can you imagine letting a jury decide this case?  You'd be a fool to put the case in front of one.

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