lawsuit surgical error ended professional opera career

In the aftermath of a significant medical mistake or botched surgical procedure, the thoughts of most people are focused on the here and now: What went wrong? What can be done to rectify the problem immediately? Will these steps prove effective?

While this is certainly understandable, there may come a time when people have to change their focus to the future: How will this affect my career? How will this affect my personal pursuits? How will this affect my everyday activities?

Indeed, this becomes especially true once it is clear that the damage caused by the medical mistake or botched surgical procedure likely cannot be undone. However, people in this situation should understand that they are not without options and can seek to hold parties accountable for the permanent damage they have caused.

To illustrate, consider a lawsuit recently filed against the federal government alleging that a surgical error made during an otherwise routine childbirth operation effectively destroyed the plaintiff’s career as a professional opera singer.

According to the complaint, the woman, whose husband was a staff sergeant in the Army, entered the military hospital located at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to give birth to her son back in February 2012.

It goes on to allege that during the second stage of her labor, the supervising nurse-midwife performed an episiotomy on the woman without informing her or securing her consent to the procedure.

For those unfamiliar with an episiotomy, it is a surgical incision made by a physician or nurse-midwife in the perineum to enlarge the birth canal. It is typically performed only when a baby is considered to be in distress and serves to prevent injuries to the baby during delivery.

Once the child was safely delivered, the supervising nurse-midwife repaired the incision using stitches. Unfortunately, as discussed in the next post, this allegedly unauthorized surgical procedure later caused serious medical issues that the woman says have all but ruined her professional career.

To be continued …

Source: The Military Times, “Lawsuit: Botched childbirth operation ruined Army wife’s opera career,” Joe Gould, Jan. 21, 2014; CBS News, “Opera singer sues claiming birth surgery led to career-ending flatulence,” Jan. 23, 2014

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