The North Carolina woman emerged from abdominal surgery to find that her intestine had been connected to her vagina. A recent ruling in the shocking medical malpractice case will allow the trial for the incident to proceed without the expert testimony of a specialist, who would have simply explained that defecation cannot occur through the vaginal opening. The court ruled that the expert testimony was not necessary to proceed through the civil suit.
Official reports show that the woman had sought medical intervention from physicians at the Duke University Medical Center because of constipation and other problems with her colon. The procedure was supposed to involve a partial removal of the woman's small intestine, along with reattachment to her rectum through surgical stapling. Something went terribly wrong in the operating room, however, as the woman discovered that she was bleeding from her vagina just one day after the surgery. Even though a second surgery was able to correct the problem, the woman has suffered severe psychological stress that has caused her to develop conversion disorder. Not only is the woman mentally distressed, but her vision is blurry and she has developed other stroke-like symptoms because of the situation.
A previous judge had dismissed the woman's case because she did not call a medical expert to assist with the pre-filing paperwork. This appeals ruling will allow the woman to proceed with her case. After all, a layman knows that the rectum and vagina are different, said the judge. The woman will not be permitted to seek punitive damages in the case, however, as there is no proof that the physicians acted in a willful or malicious way toward the victim. She will, however, be able to receive financial compensation for physical and emotional disorders connected with the traumatic incident.
No patient deserves to suffer the traumatic injury and mental impact that were inflicted upon this victim. The financial compensation that will hopefully result from this case will allow the woman to heal physically and emotionally from this scarring event.
www.courthousenews.com, "Vaginal defecation suit will go to trial" Jeff D. Gorman, Sep. 09, 2013