Our Illinois birth injury lawyers know that beyond harm to children from inadequate medical care, the mothers involved can often suffer serious injury. Trouble in childbirth or during pregnancy can have long-lasting effects on the life of the mother. For example, after certain problems arise, a mother maybe advised that she should have a hysterectomy. The surgical procedure involves the removal of a woman’s uterus. This is the location where a baby grows when a woman is pregnant. Therefore, after a hysterectomy a woman is no longer capable of having children.
It goes without saying that these procedures have serious implications for the woman involved-as well as their entire family. All patients who are advised that they need these procedures should have the comfort of knowing that the procedure is the only option available to prevent certain permanent complications. Taking away a woman’s ability to have future children is a very real loss and should only be undertaken in the most serious of circumstances. Yet, as reported in The Expert Review, many observers have raised serious concerns about a rash of unnecessary hysterectomies. In fact of the nearly 600,000 hysterectomies that are performed every year, some speculate that as many as 200,000 of them may not be needed.
What most patients do not know is that these procedures are quite profitable for the involved professionals. The Hysterectomy Educational Resources and Services (HERS) Foundation reports that doctors and drug companies make more than $17 billion every year from these surgical procedures. HERS explains that a staggering 98% of the women who contact their office eventually learn after consultation with a board certified gynecologist that the procedure is not necessary in their case. Of course, besides loosing the ability to have children, these operations also have other complications which should be avoided if possible. For one thing, a long, often painful recovery from major abdominal surgery is never a welcome prospect. Other symptoms include personality changes, short-term memory loss, sexual problems, chest pain, and a slightly increased cardiovascular risk.
It is important to remember that with all medical procedures, consent is needed before medical professionals can proceed. Otherwise, the medical professional is committing battery. Consent not only requires that a patient (or their representative) actually agree but also that they be properly informed of the risks and alternatives before making their decision. Yet, there are concerns that many women do not give informed consent before these procedures are performed-a serious violation of the civil law and medical standards which must never go without redress.
Our Chicago birth injury lawyers continue to urge all patients to take an active role in the care that they receive at medical centers. While hysterectomies may be necessary for the health of the mother, it is important that unnecessary procedures not be performed. If you suspect that you did not need the surgical operation or do not believe that you gave informed consent before agreeing to the operation, please get in touch with our Chicago injury lawyers to share your story and learn how we might be able to help.
In Other News: Two of our companion blogs–The Illinois Medical Malpractice Blog and Illinois Injury Lawyer Blog–were nominated for inclusion as one of the Top 25 Tort Blogs of 2011. The award is part of the LexisNexis project which seeks to feature blogs that set the standard in certain practice areas and industries. The voting to narrow down the field is currently underway, and we would love to have your vote. All you have to do is add a comment at the end of the post about the Top 25 bogs.
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