Known as one of the best hospitals in New York City, the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is considered a leading orthopedic, rheumatology, and neurological care facility. Unfortunately, medical malpractice can still occur in medical centers with such stellar reputations, as evidenced by Bethany Flanders and her filing of a medical malpractice lawsuit against one of the hospital’s doctors.
When Bethany Sanders was 13 years old, she underwent spinal surgery to help treat her serious scoliosis. Despite being doubled over and barely able to walk, Bethany could still see and had normal vision before undergoing the seven-hour operation; however, Bethany came out of the surgery unable to see – a possible surgical side-effect that surgeon Oheneba Boachie-Adjei failed to disclose to her and her family. Additionally, the informed consent form required for such a surgery was never presented to Bethany and her parents, nor was it signed.
What makes this case even more disturbing is that Bethany, unable to speak due to her intubation, wrote on a whiteboard post-operatively and indicated that she could not see. According to the family’s allegations, this complaint was ignored for months, which eliminated any chance at reversing the damage that had been done. Additionally, the surgery resulted in Bethany being confined to a wheelchair when it was meant to improve her mobility and independence.
As a result of only being able to see parts of objects in the distance, and being forced to use a magnifying glass to read, Bethany’s mother has to go to college with her to take down notes for her biology and philosophy classes. Boachi-Adjei has since retired to Ghana, where he is running a hospital created by his foundation. The medical malpractice lawsuit is still pending.
As seen in the case of Bethany Sanders, a medical malpractice lawsuit is not always straightforward. Firstly, her surgeon failed to provide her with the correct information and obtain her informed consent – an immediate medical malpractice issue. However, he then also went on to make a surgical error while operating on her which resulted in her becoming blind and being confined to a wheelchair.
Legally, your doctor is responsible for informing you of all the risks associated with your surgery, and they need to have your informed consent in writing before operating on you. Based on this complexity, you should contact a qualified medical malpractice lawyer if you feel that you have been the victim of medical malpractice. They will be able to analyze your case and inform you of the important procedures that you will need to follow to ensure that it is viable.
By consulting with a qualified NYC medical malpractice attorney, you can get guidance regarding the laws specific to the state and NYC, as well as be informed about the statute of limitations to ensure that your lawsuit is filed on time.
If you think that you, or even one of your family members, may have been a victim of a surgical error, please contact the medical malpractice lawyers of Rosenburg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff LLP in NYC.
We are ready to listen when you are ready to talk. You can speak to one of our medical malpractice attorneys by calling 1-212-697-9280 for a free, confidential consultation.
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