Court orders physician to dole out $500k for trash talking sedated patient

A man recorded the conversations that took place while he was sedated for a medical procedure, and he was shocked at what he heard when he pressed play afterward, according to a Chicago Tribune report.

The man, who is only identified in court documents as "D.B.," pressed record on his smartphone as he sat in a medical suite in his surgical gown before a colonoscopy. He claims he pressed record on the phone and then put it in his pants to capture his physician's post-procedure instructions.

When the patient played back the recording after he awoke from the procedure, he realized his pants had been put under the operating table, and his phone had recorded everything that was said during his examination. The playback revealed the anesthesiologist, Tiffany Ingham, MD, had made insulting and degrading comments about him.

Dr. Ingham is recorded telling the sedated patient, "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," according to the report. That wasn't the only insulting remark Dr. Ingham made. The phone also recorded a medical assistant noting that the patient had a rash and Dr. Ingham responding by telling the assistant not to touch it because she might get "some syphilis" on her arm. She continued, "It's probably tuberculosis in the penis, so you'll be all right." The anesthesiologist also referred to the sedated patient as a "retard."

Along with the crude remarks, Dr. Ingham also is recorded saying, "I'm going to mark 'hemorrhoids' even though we don't see them and probably won't." She did write a diagnosis of hemorrhoids on the patient's chart, according to the report.

After listening to the recording, the patient filed a lawsuit, which ended with Dr. Ingham and her practice being ordered to pay him $500,000. Dr. Ingham worked out of the Aisthesis anesthesia practice in Bethesda, Md., according to the report.

The phone also recorded the gastroenterologist who performed the colonoscopy, Soloman Shah, MD, make an insulting remark about the patient, but he was dismissed from the case.

More articles on healthcare industry lawsuits:

Former hospital CEO faces criminal charges in Chicago
Nursing home to pay $17M to settle kickback allegations brought by former CFO
Former hospital CFO receives 23-month sentence for lying about meaningful use


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