A Connecticut gynecologist was fined $5,000 yesterday by the state Medical Examining Board for mistakenly performing a hysterectomy on a patient he didn't know was pregnant. Dr. Jonathan Foster performed a laparoscopic hysterectomy, a procedure that removes the uterus, on the woman at Saint Mary's Hospital in Waterbury in January 2011. A consent order Foster signed in July says he failed to detect the pregnancy before the operation and relied on the patient's belief that she wasn't pregnant. The order also says the result of a pregnancy test that was performed couldn't be determined either way, notes the AP, and Foster didn't follow up that urine pregnancy test with either a blood test or an ultrasound, the order notes, per the Hartford Courant.
"Dr. Foster had a long discussion with the patient," Foster's attorney tells the Courant. "She represented that 'I am absolutely not pregnant.' We're not blaming her. This was a woman who wanted to move forward with the procedure." She adds that Foster remains a member in good standing at the hospital; a hospital spokeswoman confirms that, noting that Foster used to be the hospital's chief of obstetrics and gynecology before his term was up. State records don't show how far along the woman was in her pregnancy, the Courant notes. Foster didn't contest the board's findings and waived his right to a hearing, which means he accepted the terms to keep his license.