Doctors Out $500,000 After They Were Recorded Mocking Unconscious Patient

Flickr / Kārlis Dambrāns
Flickr / Kārlis Dambrāns

Pro-tip for being a doctor: don’t shit talk your patients after they “go under” for a procedure. It’s bad karma, and could actually lose you half a million bucks.

That’s what a medical team in Reston, Virginia learned the hard way.

A man came into their clinic for his colonoscopy a little nervous, as we all can be before medical procedures. Worrying that he might not remember post-operation instructions given to him by his doctors, he sets his phone to “record” before the procedure begins.

After he goes under anesthesia, the fun begins for his medical team, who immediately start mocking him (and other patients with valid concerns).

All dialogue from the Washington Post:

“After five minutes of talking to you in pre-op,” the anesthesiologist told the sedated patient, “I wanted to punch you in the face and man you up a little bit,” she was recorded saying.

The mocking did not abate as the procedure went on, however:

When the assistant noted that the man reported getting queasy when watching a needle placed in his arm, the anesthesiologist remarked on the recording, “Well, why are you looking then, retard?”

Then it gets even uglier..

The doctors then discussed “misleading and avoiding” the man after he awoke, and Shah reportedly told an assistant to convince the man that he had spoken with Shah and “you just don’t remember it.” Ingham suggested Shah receive an urgent “fake page” and said, “I’ve done the fake page before,” the complaint states. “Round and round we go. Wheel of annoying patients we go. Where it’ll land, nobody knows,” Ingham reportedly said.


Ingham then mocked the man for attending Mary Washington College, once an all-women’s school, and wondered aloud whether her patient was gay, the suit states. Then the anesthesiologist said, “I’m going to mark ‘hemorrhoids’ even though we don’t see them and probably won’t,” and did write a diagnosis of hemorrhoids on the man’s chart, which the lawsuit said was a falsification of medical records.

A jury awarded the man involved a total of $500,000 for slander, medical malpractice, and punitive damages. Ouch.

According to the Post, none of the doctors are still practicing at the firms where they worked when this incident took place. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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