JenniferReiling, Editorial Assistant
The dangers of surgical practice are multiplying. In the JOURNAL of April 15, a paragraph was given to a case that recently occurred in Germany, where a surgeon changed the operation he was intending to perform to another that he found indicated while the patient was under anesthesia. The patient, though apparently grateful at first, strongly objected when the bill was presented, and it was stated that the court decided that he was censurable for not stopping and waiting for the patient's consent. A supplementary report of the case in the newspapers states that the patient, not content with getting off from payment of the bill, brought an action for assault or bodily injury, and the supreme provisional court has just delivered judgment, and while admitting that the operation has probably lengthened the patient's life, it holds that it was not done with the patient's knowledge or approval, and might have been attended with danger, it was an intentional and illegal bodily injury. The public prosecutor has, therefore, announced his intention of instituting a criminal prosecution of the surgeon.
HARD LUCK.. JAMA. 1999;281(20):1874D. doi:10.1001/jama.281.20.1874