Intended for healthcare professionals


Anesthetist is sued after sedated patient recorded insults on phone

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 26 June 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h3510
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. 1Montreal

A Virginia anesthetist must pay $500 000 (£320 000; €450 000) in damages to a patient whose smartphone recorded her insulting and mocking him during a colonoscopy and deliberately giving him a false diagnosis.

Expecting to feel groggy after his colonoscopy, the patient, a lawyer identified in court papers only as DB, had turned on his phone’s voice recorder to capture the gastroenterologist’s postoperative instructions. The phone, in his trousers, had been put under his trolley and recorded the entire procedure.

The anesthetist, Tiffany Ingham, 42, seemed to have taken a sharp dislike to the patient during their preoperative discussion, when he had mentioned feeling queasy after a previous injection and also disclosed the fact that he was taking a …

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