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Medical Verdicts

Doctor performs episiotomy despite woman’s refusal

July 2003 · Vol. 15, No. 7
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<court>Du Page County (Ill) Circuit Court</court>

Prior to delivery, a 27-year-old woman informed her doctor that she did not want an episiotomy. In addition, she altered the hospital consent form to specifically refuse an episiotomy. However, during delivery, the doctor performed an episiotomy to prevent a tear and further complications.

The woman sued, claiming that she suffered pain and emotional distress due to the episiotomy. She also attributed 2 later abortions to her doctor’s failure to respect her wishes.

The doctor conceded that he and the patient had discussed her refusal to have an episiotomy. However, he claimed, he informed her that he was unable to guarantee the procedure would not be necessary.

  • The jury returned a defense verdict.

The cases presented here were compiled by Lewis L. Laska, editor of Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts. While there are instances when the available information is incomplete, these cases represent the types of clinical situations that typically result in litigation.

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