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Thread: Dr. Boachie Named in Lawsuit

  1. #16
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    A surgeon who is doing his job by dotting his "i's and crossing his "t's has a surgeon coordinator who meets with you once surgery is scheduled. The doctor himself may not go over even single possible complication, Paperwork is hardly their job.however you do have the right to that list well in advance of your surgery. My surgeon provided the list with a request for signature that I was aware of them. The list also has a disclaimer that there may be unknown risks included as well. I was aware of all the risks and proceeded with surgery. The reason this girl is able to file suit is that she was not informed of one particular risk. This is all so unfortunate. Very sad story for all.

  2. #17
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    Confused on several counts

    1) I've had numerous operations in my lifetime, only one intrinsically more serious than any general anesthesia is (minimally invasive neurosurgery on my cervical spine). ALL of them required me to sign lengthy consent forms essentially stating I would not hold the surgeon responsible even if my head falls off (and a similar slew of outcomes as long as the one Linda posted).

    What I as a patient want to know are the PROBABILITIES.

    2) Secondly, how come this lawsuit is mentioned but not the one I'll link below? It DID hit the New York Times and so far as I know, all "reputable" news media. (Still not clear just what happened PPW

    I have a strong prejudice in favor of transparency about medical outcomes even though as with all news, most readers don't understand enough statistics to digest the actual meaning of big splashes presented - least of all in "medical breakthroughs." It's hard enough to find studies to give patients a notion of the risks they run - read "impossible" - based on physicians' track records, one's personal cohort (age and difficulty of surgery) and relative quality of facilities.

    With that bias built-in to our ability to get information (why? Mostly because of the protective cabal against disclosing negative megative information to the public), I can't understand why any patient would want to cast a further pall on disclosing malpractice suits - including, of course, especially if negligence was proven.

    Just consider the detailed listings of possible side-effects for any and all medications! No one would take any med without knowing what the frequency of occurrence of any of them were. Some of them are listed even if the negative event is not known for sure to be related to the medicine itself, their inclusion being for the sake of liability protection. There is such a thing as lying by excess of information! Consider the online consents we all sign without even scrolling, for countless contracts accepted by a mere "click". The government has also mastered this art, of concealing important facts by burying them in haystacks of unimportant ones.

    Without odds, no one can make a cost:benefit analysis about anything, and "informed consent" is impossible.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/30/ny...gery.html?_r=0

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/...icle-1.2240814
    Not all diagnosed (still having tests and consults) but so far:
    Ehler-Danlos (hyper-mobility) syndrome, 69 - somehow,
    main curve L Cobb 60, compensating T curve ~ 30
    Flat back, marked lumbar kyphosis (grade?) Spondilolisthesis - everyone gives this a different grade too. Cervical stenosis op'd 3-07, minimally invasive

  3. #18
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    I was quoted my risk of blindness as 1 in 600,000 or something like that. You just have to hope the guy before you wasn't number 599,999.
    Gayle, age 50
    Oct 2010 fusion T8-sacrum w/ pelvic fixation
    Feb 2012 lumbar revision for broken rods @ L2-3-4
    Sept 2015 major lumbar A/P revision for broken rods @ L5-S1


    mom of Leah, 15 y/o, Diagnosed '08 with 26* T JIS (age 6)
    2010 VBS Dr Luhmann Shriners St Louis
    2017 curves stable/skeletely mature

    also mom of Torrey, 12 y/o son, 16* T, stable

  4. #19
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    It's a very grey area. Most complications have odds ratios published. Believe it or not, the disclosure of more information about complications doesn't seem to affect informed choice. I think it's human nature for a large percentage of the population to believe that they won't have a serious complication.

    I'm sure it happens, but I don't recall ever hearing about anyone changing their mind about deformity surgery because of the informed consent process.

    --Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Dilbert
    I'm sarcastic... what's your super power? --Unknown
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If you've signed up and are having trouble posting, please check your spam folder. An email was sent to the email address which you subscribed. You have to follow the instructions in that email. Done that and still having trouble posting? Contact Joe O'Brien at jpobrien@scoliosis.org.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by leahdragonfly View Post
    I was quoted my risk of blindness as 1 in 600,000 or something like that. You just have to hope the guy before you wasn't number 599,999.
    Gayle: I remember a patient who had cystic fibrosis, both (edit made: typing error said "patients" ) parents were carriers. The parents were told that there was a 1:4 chance that a future child would have CF. So......they had 3 more kids, 2 of whom had CF. I remember the mom saying, "I thought that if we had 3 more kids, that since they said we already had one with CF that the next 3 would be OK".

    When I had my spinal cord injury from a screw that was impinging on my spinal cord, I had been a paraplegic for 2 weeks. I remember Dr. Hiratzka saying that I had a "10-15% chance of being a permanent paraplegic". I would have agreed to a higher risk, since my legs had barely moved for 2 weeks and Dr. Hiratzka offered the only hopeful intervention in 2 weeks. My situation was different than almost everyone on the forum since it was an Emergency surgery and not an elective surgery.

    Susan with 4 rods
    Last edited by susancook; 08-28-2016 at 03:12 AM.
    Adult Onset Degenerative Scoliosis @65, 25* T & 36* L w/ 11.2 cm coronal balance; T kyphosis 90*; Severe disc degen T & L stenosis

    2013: T3- S1 Fusion w/ ALIF L4-S1/XLIF L2-4, PSF T4-S1 in 2 surgeries
    2014: Hernia @ ALIF repaired; Emergency screw removal surgery for Spinal Cord Injury at T4,5 sec to PJK
    2015: Revision Broken Bil T & L rods and no fusion: 2 revision surgeries; hardware P. Acnes infection
    2016: Ant/Lat Lumbar diskectomy w/ 4 cages + BMP + harvested bone + prayer

  6. #21
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    Hi Susan,

    Interesting story about the couple with CF---sounds like they really didn't get it during genetic counseling or something. They thought all odds were black and white and spread over the course of all their pregnancies, not a new relative risk for each pregnancy unrelated to the prior pregnancies. How sad.

    You unfortunately really were on your own island with your spinal cord injury since it was such an unusual situation…I'm sure considering that you would have accepted much higher odds than 10-15% chance of paralysis. I think your strength, humor, and positive attitude pulled you through, and I certainly try to emulate you. We met because you needed surgery and agonized about it before proceeding, you only wanted one surgery. When we became friends I was the success story, and yet, several years later, you have been through so much, way more than anyone here could have imagined, and yet here you are giving me comfort and support! I am lucky to have your support and friendship. You are an amazing lady!
    Gayle, age 50
    Oct 2010 fusion T8-sacrum w/ pelvic fixation
    Feb 2012 lumbar revision for broken rods @ L2-3-4
    Sept 2015 major lumbar A/P revision for broken rods @ L5-S1


    mom of Leah, 15 y/o, Diagnosed '08 with 26* T JIS (age 6)
    2010 VBS Dr Luhmann Shriners St Louis
    2017 curves stable/skeletely mature

    also mom of Torrey, 12 y/o son, 16* T, stable

  7. #22
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    Misc about patient rights

    Sorry my lengthy post above was a hard to read. I was simultaneously searching for airline tickets and (I guess this was the problem) the many open windows with comparative prices made it impossible to edit it or even to delete it.

    I remain confused about the issue of informed consent.
    Days ago, I was forced into signing a (supposedly) informed consent form for a mastectomy which included absolutely no itemization of risks at all - simply an assertion that the patient [me] had been informed verbally about all risks. This was not true. When I was granted my (all too brief) audience with the surgeon's NP, I tried to clarify what the risks were and she said she wasn't in a position to disclose them.

    This mattered to me especially as the surgeon had refused to do a double mastectomy (my request) precisely because by doubling my risks, it constituted an unacceptable medical risk overall., according to him. I still don't know what those risks are, and was (just as frustrating) forced to sign a form stating I knew what they were AND had "been given answers to all my questions".

    Unlike most complex spinal surgery, cancer operations have a far more restrictive window of safety (though that is impossible to identify with certainty). I DO know, however, that I was not in a position to search out a new surgeon and facility at this point, for whatever reason. My surgeon's "offer" that I could do so, was very misleading especially given my circumstances. I couldn't even consult a different surgeon in his same facility for a second opinion.

    This is just one more instance of make-believe "informed consent", though here not through excessive information but insufficient. Note, that if I turn out to need a further work-up and surgery on the "contralateral breast", especially from my remotely situated hometown, it will constitute just one more delay in undertaking the spinal surgery for which I came on board here. That makes it all the more unlikely that the serious neurological deficits I have developed. can ever be reversed.

    I'm feeling sad and trapped by the prerogatives of the medical profession. Increasingly, I'm suspecting that no one except other professionals and their families are treated with respect by the highest level surgeons.
    Not all diagnosed (still having tests and consults) but so far:
    Ehler-Danlos (hyper-mobility) syndrome, 69 - somehow,
    main curve L Cobb 60, compensating T curve ~ 30
    Flat back, marked lumbar kyphosis (grade?) Spondilolisthesis - everyone gives this a different grade too. Cervical stenosis op'd 3-07, minimally invasive

  8. #23
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    PA
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    Linda Racine - risks list

    I'm unclear about the risks you detailed earlier in this thread. Some, even most, do seem to be the "luck of the draw". However, others (leaving a sponge or other equipment inside, operating on the wrong level, a misplaced screw) seem to constitute surgical error or negligence.

    Are we to understand that a surgeon can be given a pass on any mistake or lapse of judgment? When is a patient or his/her estate allowed to claim malpractice (NOT just referring to clearly egregious neglect, but such instances as cited above)? Such errors are AFAIK compounded by the apparently many instances when the patient's complaints are "blown off" afterwards.
    Not all diagnosed (still having tests and consults) but so far:
    Ehler-Danlos (hyper-mobility) syndrome, 69 - somehow,
    main curve L Cobb 60, compensating T curve ~ 30
    Flat back, marked lumbar kyphosis (grade?) Spondilolisthesis - everyone gives this a different grade too. Cervical stenosis op'd 3-07, minimally invasive

  9. #24
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    Sep 2003
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    Northern California
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    6,797
    Quote Originally Posted by Back-out View Post
    Sorry my lengthy post above was a hard to read. I was simultaneously searching for airline tickets and (I guess this was the problem) the many open windows with comparative prices made it impossible to edit it or even to delete it.

    I remain confused about the issue of informed consent.
    Days ago, I was forced into signing a (supposedly) informed consent form for a mastectomy which included absolutely no itemization of risks at all - simply an assertion that the patient [me] had been informed verbally about all risks. This was not true. When I was granted my (all too brief) audience with the surgeon's NP, I tried to clarify what the risks were and she said she wasn't in a position to disclose them.

    This mattered to me especially as the surgeon had refused to do a double mastectomy (my request) precisely because by doubling my risks, it constituted an unacceptable medical risk overall., according to him. I still don't know what those risks are, and was (just as frustrating) forced to sign a form stating I knew what they were AND had "been given answers to all my questions".

    Unlike most complex spinal surgery, cancer operations have a far more restrictive window of safety (though that is impossible to identify with certainty). I DO know, however, that I was not in a position to search out a new surgeon and facility at this point, for whatever reason. My surgeon's "offer" that I could do so, was very misleading especially given my circumstances. I couldn't even consult a different surgeon in his same facility for a second opinion.

    This is just one more instance of make-believe "informed consent", though here not through excessive information but insufficient. Note, that if I turn out to need a further work-up and surgery on the "contralateral breast", especially from my remotely situated hometown, it will constitute just one more delay in undertaking the spinal surgery for which I came on board here. That makes it all the more unlikely that the serious neurological deficits I have developed. can ever be reversed.

    I'm feeling sad and trapped by the prerogatives of the medical profession. Increasingly, I'm suspecting that no one except other professionals and their families are treated with respect by the highest level surgeons.
    Unless someone is holding a gun to your head, it is unacceptable to sign anything about which you have questions. Yes, you have a serious medical issue, but if you feel there might be risks that you were unwilling to take, you should not have signed. I would not want anyone operating on me who had coerced me into something. You should immediately file a complaint with the hospital and with the medical board in your state.
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Dilbert
    I'm sarcastic... what's your super power? --Unknown
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If you've signed up and are having trouble posting, please check your spam folder. An email was sent to the email address which you subscribed. You have to follow the instructions in that email. Done that and still having trouble posting? Contact Joe O'Brien at jpobrien@scoliosis.org.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Back-out View Post
    I'm unclear about the risks you detailed earlier in this thread. Some, even most, do seem to be the "luck of the draw". However, others (leaving a sponge or other equipment inside, operating on the wrong level, a misplaced screw) seem to constitute surgical error or negligence.

    Are we to understand that a surgeon can be given a pass on any mistake or lapse of judgment? When is a patient or his/her estate allowed to claim malpractice (NOT just referring to clearly egregious neglect, but such instances as cited above)? Such errors are AFAIK compounded by the apparently many instances when the patient's complaints are "blown off" afterwards.
    I don't know what you do for a living, but when you've made mistakes at your job (and we all do at some point), did you make them intentionally?

    If you make a mistake because you are impaired, that would be an intentional error. If you make the mistake while you are unimpaired, should you lose your job, pay a harsh fine, be shunned by your co-workers?

    A patient can file a malpractice claim at any time, even if they have a good outcome. There's nothing but integrity stopping us. In the case of spine surgery, it might be hard to claim that one didn't know there were risks after signing a consent stating that the risks of surgery were discussed. All we can do is try to make informed decisions, and then hope that everything goes well. As we've seen in this thread, even the very best surgeons have bad outcomes.

    If you honestly feel that you would not have undergone surgery because the list of risks above includes something with which you're unwilling to live, you should not have surgery.
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Dilbert
    I'm sarcastic... what's your super power? --Unknown
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If you've signed up and are having trouble posting, please check your spam folder. An email was sent to the email address which you subscribed. You have to follow the instructions in that email. Done that and still having trouble posting? Contact Joe O'Brien at jpobrien@scoliosis.org.

  11. #26
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    Boachi lawsuit

    [QUOTE=LindaRacine;163630]I had known that Dr. Boachie was going to retire for at least a year before it actually got announced.

    How many times have you heard of surgeons telling patients that there are no guarantees? In case someone forgot, THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES.

    /QUOTE

    Unfortunately I have to agree with Linda on this one. Although I feel terrible for this young girl; the first thing my surgeon said to me "THERE IS NO GUARANTEE". My surgeon will do the best he can but when you are facing a surgery that has almost a 20% chance of death - you have to choose.

    Life in a wheelchair or the chance to walk?

    EVERYTHING possible is listed on the consent you sign; up to and including death. The surgeon admitted he could nick my spinal cord. THIS IS WHY YOU DO YOUR HOMEWORK, INTERVIEW MANY SURGEONS, THEN SPEND TIME USING YOUR BRAIN GOD GAVE YOU, AND PRAY!

    Pray you found the right one - that feeling in your gut. I chose my first surgeon - Dr. Pashman. Then my daughter's BOSS called me and convinced me Dr. Kropf would be better. What to do? Gut said Pashman - I should have gone with him. He even said "how many times do you want to face surgery"?

    I did NOT follow my gut on my first surgery - instead I was helping my daughter. No more daughter tending - from now own I do the best for me medically after I pray and consider what God tells me. That's it.

    You can sue and try to attempt to get some money. I'd rather "store my treasure in heaven" and do my best to live and help others. This young lady is able to do what she likes.

    Susan
    Susan
    XLIF/Posterior Surgery 6/16/08. Fused T10-L5 in CA by Dr. Michael Kropf (don't go there unless it's simple, I hear he's at Cedar's now). Very deformed, had revision w/5 PSO's, rods from T-3 to sacrum including iliac screws, all posterior, 5/23/16 with Dr. Purnendu Gupta of Chicago.


    Owner of Chachi the Chihuahua, So Cal born and bred, now a resident of 'Chicagoland' Illinois. Uh, dislike it here....thank God there was ONE excellent spine surgeon in this area.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chihuahua Mama View Post
    My surgeon will do the best he can but when you are facing a surgery that has almost a 20% chance of death - you have to choose.
    I've never seen a number anywhere near that high. I think that all the published numbers are between .5% and 1%.
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Dilbert
    I'm sarcastic... what's your super power? --Unknown
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If you've signed up and are having trouble posting, please check your spam folder. An email was sent to the email address which you subscribed. You have to follow the instructions in that email. Done that and still having trouble posting? Contact Joe O'Brien at jpobrien@scoliosis.org.

  13. #28
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    Chance of death with major spine surgery? I am >65 and was told 1/100. Dr. Hu probably rounded up the .5 chance.
    Susan
    Adult Onset Degenerative Scoliosis @65, 25* T & 36* L w/ 11.2 cm coronal balance; T kyphosis 90*; Severe disc degen T & L stenosis

    2013: T3- S1 Fusion w/ ALIF L4-S1/XLIF L2-4, PSF T4-S1 in 2 surgeries
    2014: Hernia @ ALIF repaired; Emergency screw removal surgery for Spinal Cord Injury at T4,5 sec to PJK
    2015: Revision Broken Bil T & L rods and no fusion: 2 revision surgeries; hardware P. Acnes infection
    2016: Ant/Lat Lumbar diskectomy w/ 4 cages + BMP + harvested bone + prayer

  14. #29
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    Still confused about when doctors can legitimately be held liable for errors

    Quote Originally Posted by LindaRacine View Post
    I don't know what you do for a living, but when you've made mistakes at your job (and we all do at some point), did you make them intentionally?

    If you make a mistake because you are impaired, that would be an intentional error. If you make the mistake while you are unimpaired, should you lose your job, pay a harsh fine, be shunned by your co-workers?

    A patient can file a malpractice claim at any time, even if they have a good outcome. There's nothing but integrity stopping us. In the case of spine surgery, it might be hard to claim that one didn't know there were risks after signing a consent stating that the risks of surgery were discussed. All we can do is try to make informed decisions, and then hope that everything goes well. As we've seen in this thread, even the very best surgeons have bad outcomes.

    If you honestly feel that you would not have undergone surgery because the list of risks above includes something with which you're unwilling to live, you should not have surgery.
    Referring to my questions above about your list of possible risks.

    To take but a single example (operating on wrong level) do you really think a surgeon should be help blameless? Of course, this could just be sensationalism, but I recall numerous cases where surgeons have been help liable - and scorned - for removing the wrong limb or other body part. Hence patients are sometimes advised (facetiously?) to label that part before surgery. Same thought about sponges left inside, misplaced screws, etc.

    Mistakes are mistakes. of course. However, when someone's life and/or quality of life lies in the balance, the highly paid specialist making it, ought IMO be held accountable. I'm very surprised if you are indeed suggesting otherwise.

    BTW I am a portrait artist. If a client doesn't like the portrait, I "adjust" the offending part as much as I can or redo it completely. Who wants to turn over a portrait the model throws darts at? (What Winston Churchill did with a portrait he hated!)

    (Definition of a portrait: "A picture with 'a little something the matter with the mouth'")
    Not all diagnosed (still having tests and consults) but so far:
    Ehler-Danlos (hyper-mobility) syndrome, 69 - somehow,
    main curve L Cobb 60, compensating T curve ~ 30
    Flat back, marked lumbar kyphosis (grade?) Spondilolisthesis - everyone gives this a different grade too. Cervical stenosis op'd 3-07, minimally invasive

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by LindaRacine View Post

    If you honestly feel that you would not have undergone surgery because the list of risks above includes something with which you're unwilling to live, you should not have surgery.
    However, haven't we heard from numerous patients here who have expressed regret about undergoing the surgery because of some aspect of their outcomes? Some, sadly, aren't even able to express themselves on that score. I recall some years back, a woman who ended up in a "permanent vegetative state" *. I am sure this report (from her family, of course) made all our blood run cold.

    Those of us contemplating this surgery are, ALWAYS deciding to take a major risk. In a sense, it's not merely a crap shoot, but Russian roulette. Perhaps the understood tipping point in undergoing the surgery, is not so much that we're willing to live with any outcome, but that we're no longer willing to live in our present state - least of all, if it's certain to worsen.

    *I fervently hope this condition has been reversed for her. I have never forgotten her story.
    Not all diagnosed (still having tests and consults) but so far:
    Ehler-Danlos (hyper-mobility) syndrome, 69 - somehow,
    main curve L Cobb 60, compensating T curve ~ 30
    Flat back, marked lumbar kyphosis (grade?) Spondilolisthesis - everyone gives this a different grade too. Cervical stenosis op'd 3-07, minimally invasive

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