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Medical malpractice – doctor carves his initials into patient’s liver

Medical malpractice – doctor carves his initials into patient’s liver
Axelrod & Associates, P.A.

Your liver is failing. Without a new one, you will die. You and your family have no choice but to place your faith in the skill and professionalism of a well-regarded surgeon.

The surgeon delivers, and you wake up with a new liver and a new hope for a better, longer life. But, during a follow-up operation, you learn that the surgeon gave you more than a new liver… he branded you, carving his initials into your new liver like the signature of an artist or a graffiti writer’s tag.

It sounds crazy, but this happened to a British man a few years ago. Turns out, the same surgeon also left his initials in at least one other patient.

And, it’s not an isolated incident – in New York, a doctor carved his initials into a woman’s abdomen after performing a c-section, and a California gynecologist branded his patient’s name on her uterus.


The examples above are extreme cases of intentional misconduct by surgeons, but they perfectly illustrate what is defined as medical malpractice – these doctors failed to uphold the accepted standards of medical care.

Some more common situations that lead to devastating harm and medical malpractice claims include:

  • Injuries during childbirth;
  • Treatment with dangerous drugs or devices;
  • Misdiagnoses;
  • Emergency room mistakes;
  • Problems with anesthesia; and
  • Surgical instruments or other items left inside a person.

In South Carolina, medical malpractice happens when a medical professional is negligent by breaching their duty of care to their patient.

In many cases, it involves a mistake that could have and should have been avoided by the medical professional. In legal terms, the physician, nurse, or other medical professional failed to meet the accepted level of skill and care in the treatment of their patient.

When are Mistakes by Doctors Not Medical Malpractice?

If you are unhappy with your medical care, that does not mean you have a malpractice case, and not every medical mistake constitutes malpractice.

The unwanted outcome must be the result of a failure to provide reasonable care. This means the responsible medical professional negligently failed to provide the level of skill and care that another professional in the same specialty would have provided.

Doctors are not the only medical professionals held to these standards – nurses, anesthesiologists, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities are also expected to meet the standard of reasonable care.

I Think That I am a Victim of Medical Malpractice in SC – What Now?

Medical malpractice law in SC is complex, and your attorney will need to begin the process of obtaining your medical records and locating the right medical experts for your case.

What’s the first step? Before filing suit, we will need to:

  1. Obtain confirmation from an independent medical expert that what happened is malpractice; and
  2. File a notice of intent to file suit along with an affidavit from your expert witness.


If you believe you have been harmed by a failure to meet medical standards, you should consult with your Myrtle Beach Medical Malpractice Lawyer as soon as possible.

Schedule a free consultation with an experienced Myrtle Beach personal injury lawyer on the Axelrod team. Call us at 843-916-9300 or fill out our contact form today.

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