My father recently died during heart surgery. He researched and found a surgeon that was rated highly by colleagues and patients. Now I find that although this doctor was involved in the surgery, a less experienced doctor did the actual procedure. Do I have a case for medical malpractice?

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You certainly do! What you describe is commonly called “ghost surgery,” an increasingly common practice of substituting one surgeon for another without a patient’s knowledge and consent.

The American College of Surgeons pronounces in its guidelines that misleading a patient about who performs an operation is unethical. “This principle applies to the surgeon who performs the operation when the patient believes that another physician is operating, and to the surgeon who delegates a procedure to another surgeon without the knowledge and consent of the patient,” the guidelines state.

You can sue for damages if harm was done, which is clearly true in your father’s case. Unfortunately, uncovering the truth may be difficult; members of the medical profession are very loyal to each other, and non-physician personnel are unlikely to jeopardize their jobs by testifying against the hospital or a respected surgeon.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Hire an attorney. You will need an experienced Louisville medical malpractice lawyer, such as those at Gray and White Law.
  • Conduct an investigation. You and your attorney should talk to everyone who was present at the hospital on the day of your father’s surgery—receptionists, nurses, orderlies, and other doctors. Interview the surgeon who was supposed to perform the operation; often he or she will slip and give away the truth.

If your loved one has died or suffered permanent brain injury due to a medical mistake or malpractice, Gray and White Law can help. Call us at 502-210-8942 or toll free at 888-450-4456 and set up a FREE, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case.