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September 19, 2001

A Patient Dissatisfied With Her Care—Reply

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2001;286(11):1311-1315. doi:10.1001/jama.286.11.1311

In Reply: I am not now, nor have I ever been, a card-carrying anesthesiologist. In no sense am I qualified to evaluate the technical aspects of the treatment Ms G received—nor did I do so. Nonetheless, I am not prepared to abjure my right to assess the behavior of anesthesiologists as fellow physicians.

If the first anesthesiologist was incompetent when he recommended lidocaine (as implied in the letters from Drs Aye and Morell and colleagues), then the second was surely correct in refusing to use it; nonetheless, he should have informed the patient before, not after, the treatment. Aye, in defending anesthesiologists, suggests that the patient may have been informed, but failed to remember because of preoperative sedation. If Aye is correct, then my criticism is without substance. The case report, all I had available to me, mentions no such claim. Post hoc, it provides an all-too-easy rationalization. And Dr Daley provides evidence to the contrary.

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