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ARTICLE ID 194521

$________ – MEDICAL MALPRACTICE – UNNECESSARY REMOVAL OF TESTICLE – FAILURE TO PERFORM BIOPSY AND FROZEN SECTION – LACK OF INFORMED CONSENT

Duval County, FL

This medical malpractice action was brought against the defendant urologist and his practice group alleging unnecessary removal of one of the plaintiff’s testicles. The defendants argued that the doctor met the required standard of care, and that the plaintiff had signed an informed consent authorizing the orchiectomy.

The plaintiff was a single man, approximately 60 years old, when he was advised by the defendant urologist that he had testicular cancer. The plaintiff testified that the defendant told him that one option was to have a biopsy and frozen section, and, if cancer was confirmed, the testicle would be surgically removed.

The plaintiff contended that it was his understanding that the biopsy and frozen section would take approximately 15 minutes to complete, and would be performed while he was under anesthesia. The plaintiff claimed that he believed that, if the biopsy result was benign, he would simply receive stitches to close the biopsy incision; but if cancer was confirmed by the results of the biopsy and frozen section, then his testicle would be removed during the same surgery.

However, the plaintiff argued that the biopsy and frozen section was never performed, the plaintiff’s testicle was removed, and pathology results subsequently showed that the plaintiff did not have cancer.

The plaintiff produced evidence of a conversation between the plaintiff and the defendant doctor which took place in the presence of a member of the plaintiff’s family. The conversation reportedly included a representation on the part of the defendant that the biopsy and frozen section would be performed intraoperatively.

The plaintiff alleged that the defendant doctor was negligent, and removed the testicle without his informed consent. The plaintiff also contended that he was not informed of alternatives to the surgery, including testicular sparing surgery, during which only part of the testicle is removed.

The defendants produced a written consent form, signed by the plaintiff prior to the procedure. The form specifically gave the doctor permission to perform the orchiectomy, according to defense arguments.

The defendants’ medical experts testified that the defendant doctor met the required standard of care in removing the testicle in light of the risk of cancer, and that there were inherent risks in performing the biopsy and frozen section. The jury found for the plaintiff on both the negligence and informed consent counts. The plaintiff was awarded $________ in damages. The plaintiff also recovered costs and attorney fees based on a proposal for settlement.

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