The Chicago medical malpractice attorneys at our firm know that just as much harmed can be caused by performing an operation than failing to perform an operation. It is common knowledge that surgeries are inherently risky. Of course, they are undertaken specifically because doctors advise patients that their medical problems require the operation, and the risks of the procedure are outweighed by their problems going untreated. On the flip side, if a procedure is not necessary, then it should almost always be avoided, because surgical operations can have significant side effects. Yet, our Chicago injury attorneys have learned over the years that many patients are unknowingly subjected to operations that they do not actually need.
On that issue, according the The Expert Review, there are serious concerns that many women are having unnecessary hysterectomies performed. These procedures involve the removal of a woman uterus. The uterus is the location in the woman’s body where a developing child grows, and so women who have these operations performed cannot have children. The potential scope of the problem is staggering. According to reports of observers, as many as one out of every three operation may not be needed. Every year nearly 600,000 women have a hysterectomy-more than one every minute. That means that as many as 200,000 women may have their uterus removed needlessly each and every year.
Profit may be one of the causes of this systematic problem. For one thing, doctors and involved drug companies have much to gain from these operations, making over $17 billion from hysterectomies annually. The Hysterectomy Educational Resources and Services (HERS) Foundation, and advocacy group for those involved in these situations, has found, shockingly, that 98% of the women who contact their office who visit with a board-certified gynecologist discover that they actually do not need a hysterectomy. Besides loosing the ability to have children, these operations come with a series of complications that should always be avoided. Of course the serious abdominal surgery itself comes with a long an often lengthy recovery period. Many other women have reported other complications, including: chest pain, short-term memory loss, sexual dysfunction, and personality changes. Recently researchers have also noted a connection between the procedures and a slight increase in cardiovascular risk.
HERS explains that many woman fail to give proper consent to have the surgery. In the medical context, consent essentially requires both that the patient (or their health care proxy) give actual consent and be informed of the risks and alternative options. When this informed consent is not given, medical professionals may actually be liable for battery. And when an unnecessary is performed without proper informed consent, the victims may have legal recourse to hold their negligent caregiver accountable and seek redress for the losses they’ve sustained.
Our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys believe that no woman or family should go through these procedures needlessly. Doctors must ensure that they advise women on the procedure on when absolutely necessary and they receive informed consent at all times before operating. If you suspect that you did not need the surgical operation or do not believe that you gave informed consent before agreeing to the operation, please get in touch with our Chicago injury lawyers to share your story and learn how we might be able to help.
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