When you go into a hospital on the day of your surgery, you have likely met with your surgeon and discussed the risk and benefits of the benefits of whatever procedure you are scheduled to have that day, assuming you are not brought into the emergency room and rushed into an operating room. You are likely confident that surgeon has the skill and experience to do his or her job properly, and while this is very likely true, if your surgeon is unknowingly using a defectively-designed medical device, the chance of a complication may be exceedingly high.
In a case from the Washington State Supreme Court, a surgeon who had used a defendant’s surgical assist robot on numerous occasions spoke to the patient about his intention to use the relatively new device to operate on the patient’s prostate cancer. The doctor obtained informed consent from the patient, who was considered severely obese at the time of his surgery. Continue reading