Suit: Doctors Mocked Me While I Was Unconscious
Colonoscopy patient's cell phone records comments during procedure
By John Johnson, Newser Staff | Suggested by DanPaul
Posted Apr 23, 2014 2:43 PM CDT

(Newser) – So what do doctors chat about after you've gone under anesthesia? You may not want to know, according to a lawsuit picked up by Courthouse News Service. A colonoscopy patient in Virginia says he used his cellphone to record instructions given to him prior to his April 18, 2013, procedure, and accidentally left it on and recording. "DB" says doctors mocked him relentlessly. A sampling:

  • Dr. Tiffany Ingham is heard saying to the unconscious patient: "And really, after five minutes of talking to you in pre-op I wanted to punch you in the face and man you up a little bit."

  • Ingham also allegedly called him a "big wimp" and a "retard," joked about firing a gun up his rectum, made fun of his alma mater (Mary Washington College), and threatened to falsely note on his chart that he had hemorrhoids.
  • The medical team joked about a rash on the patient's penis, speculating it might be syphilis. Then Ingham allegedly said, "It's probably tuberculosis in the penis, so you'll be all right."
  • Doctors also strategized about how to avoid him after surgery.
The Fairfax County patient is suing for $1.35 million in damages. (More odd medical news: A Pennsylvania woman has been busted dealing heroin—from her hospital bed.)

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Mike Rowedick
Nov 30, 2015 1:29 AM CST
I have a micro penis and this condition seems to be thought of as acceptable to joke about and to humiliate and degrade the patient over. I have had 2 cystoscopies which didn't reveal any physical causes to my pain or any reason for my reoccurring infections or difficulty voiding. I was a bit concerned when going for my first cystoscopy as I was worried that the cystoscope would be too big to fit inside my urethra and I'm sure this would be a huge joke for all those whom were at my procedure. I don't actually know what happened as I was totally knocked out. I had read that cystoscopies were usually performed under a local anesthetic or with a spinal block but I had a general anesthetic for my first cystoscope. When I attended the hospital for my pre-surgery interview for the second cystoscope, I was told by the female anesthesiologist that I was an extreme risk of death due to my increased obesity and severe anemia and that I could not have a general anesthetic this time. She insisted that this time I would have to have a spinal block but she said she was worried about something and she wanted me to promise her that I would take my ipod and earphones so that I could have music playing throughout the entire procedure. I told her that I was not concerned at all about the procedure and that I would find it interesting listening to what was going on around me. She said that this is exactly what she was worried about, She told me that there are many people present when I am undergoing a cystoscopy and they are only human and they can say very inappropriate things about you and I don't want you to hear what they might say. I told her that I'd feel better knowing what was going on around me and hearing what was being said around me. Obviously she was referring to nurses and other staff laughing and commenting about my micro penis. I have had nurses laugh in my face before so I was well aware that this was likely to happen. Come the day of the second cystoscopy and I am taken in my bed into the theatre and I started to wonder why nothing was happening with my back as I had been assured that I would be having a spinal block and the anesthesiologist had examined my spine at the hospital interview weeks ago. I was wheeled into the theatre and a mask was placed over my face and I was told to count backwards from ten. I woke hours later after having had a general anesthetic when I was told it wouldn't be happening as I was an extreme risk of death but it seems that the Doctors and Nurses must have felt that they couldn't control their laughter or comments about my micro penis so as to ensure that I didn't hear them humiliating me I was put at extreme risk of death just to ensure I didn't hear what was being said about me and I couldn't make any complaints or take legal action against them. I never bothered taking any action because I accept that it is normal human behavior and some people even though in professional jobs, are not able to control their laughter or making jokes about something that society tells everyone is unacceptable and make me les of a man.
May 1, 2014 2:20 PM CDT
As someone I know just commented elsewhere, "He must not have felt too bad about it because now the world knows he has a rash down south. Man up bro."
Robyn Giezentanner Jones
May 1, 2014 12:13 AM CDT
My mind is just blown that he was able to record anything. I mean, how in the world did he get his cell phone anywhere near the OR? Any procedure I've ever had (or seen, as a former LPN) you remove clothes, jewelery, everything and leave it in your room. You are not allowed to bring any personal effects with you on the stretcher at all, as the facility cannot be trying to keep up with everyone's stuff and don't want to be responsible for them. Also, you are not supposed to have metal objects around some of the equipment used; and lastly, nothing that isn't sterile is allowed to be brought into an OR (or procedure room.) I once left a pair of earrings on when I went from my ER room to be x-rayed, and they made me take them off in the x-ray room; (no one told me to remove them, and as this was an emergent visit I hadn't thought to remove them.) When she handed them back to me, one was missing and I never got it back, and there was nothing I could do about it.