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Agreed to non-refundable procedure w/o informed consent

Discussion in 'Consumer Law, Contracts, Warranties' started by bb12, May 20, 2020.

  1. bb12

    bb12 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    I received a quote for a cosmetic procedure from a plastic surgeon in a consultation. In that appointment, I signed a document acknowledging all surgical procedures are non-refundable. Six months later, I chose to go ahead with the procedure and paid a $3500 deposit to reserve a surgery date. Due to covid, my date was canceled. The surgical facility re-opened (somewhat unexpectedly) and I was scheduled for the procedure SIX DAYS prior to the date of the operation. I hastily paid the remaining balance for the surgery in full in fear that my surgery date would be given to someone else.

    I received the informed consent documents a few days later, about 3 days prior to the operation. Upon reading them, I realized there were a myriad of risks that had not been shared with me in any of my prior communications with the surgeon-- namely that the procedure I was to undergo is THE MOST LETHAL cosmetic procedure in the United States by total fatalities and is BANNED in the United Kingdom due to the government's belief that the surgery is too risky to be performed safely. When I asked the doctor about risks in prior appointments, he only discussed the risk of infection.

    Mere hours after the documents were sent over, I promptly canceled the surgery and requested a refund. Had I been given that information at any point earlier in the process, I would have NEVER paid a deposit, let alone the full amount. The surgical center is arguing that I signed a document 6 months ago acknowledging procedures are non-refundable, so they are keeping my money despite the procedure not being performed. Is there any way to get my money back?

    It seems incredibly unethical that a surgeon would accept payment 6 days prior to a serious operation without properly informing the patient of the remarkably high risk of fatality. Then, once the patient has paid in full, the full suite of risks are finally shared with them. My doctor has given me the option to re-book the surgery at a later date but is refusing a refund. Him and his surgical assistant seem to be pressuring me to carry out the surgery, despite their knowledge that I am in no way comfortable accepting that level of risk for a cosmetic procedure.
     
  2. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    What, exactly, do you believe "non-refundable" means?

    In the 6 months between your consultation and the time you paid the deposit, why didn't you do any research on the matter?
     
  3. bb12

    bb12 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I acted in good faith that the highly acclaimed, licensed medical professional had been forthcoming in answering my multiple queries about the risks of the surgery. The surgeon-patient relationship is predicated on a deep level of trust, and I assumed that when I had asked him twice in prior appointments, he had given me a fair picture of the risks associated with the procedure. It's a doctor's ethical duty to inform the patient of potential complications.

    Never in my life did I think the fact that this is the most lethal cosmetic surgery in the world would be buried in one sentence on the third page of a nine page informed consent document.

    You are correct that I should have done more research-- but the surgeon still had a duty to furnish me with material facts that would impact my decision to carry on with the procedure. Otherwise, surgeons can pull this bait and switch all the time. They can calmly convince their patients that procedures are exceedingly safe and complications are nil, then collect payment, then slide in a 9 page informed consent doc with risks that were never discussed with the patient. That doesn't seem fair to me. Just a thought.
     
  4. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    You are further saying that the paperwork you read and signed contained the very information that you are now complaining you were never given. I'm sorry, but this is on YOU.
     
  5. bb12

    bb12 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Sorry, I should clarify-- As it mentions in my post, I was provided with informed consents AFTER I paid in full and six months after I signed the patient quote. I did NOT sign/ agree to the informed consent documents. I only signed the patient quote, which, as stated, was about 3 sentences and said nothing about potential risks of the surgery.
     
  6. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    You had six months to do your research.
     
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  7. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Risks abound in every surgical procedure.

    Unless a surgery is required to potentially save one's life, surgeries are best avoided.
     
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  8. bb12

    bb12 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I appreciate your perspective. Is the burden of researching complex probabilities of medical complications solely on the patient? And does my signature of a 30 day, non-refundable price quote trump my surgeon's legal and ethical duty as a licensed medical professional to inform me of risks prior to me making a decision? Especially when it pertains to exorbitant risk of fatality?

    I don't want to push you too hard but I do think these are important questions!
     
  9. bb12

    bb12 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Agreed. I wish I had known that before.
     
  10. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    What was the procedure?
     
  11. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    You WERE informed, as is legally required. I really don't know how many times I can give you the same answer.
     
  12. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    I think the OP is upset that she paid the non-refundable deposit BEFORE she was informed of the risks.
     
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  13. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    How could you not?
     
  14. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    I understand that, but, as I told the OP, the OP had six months between receiving the quote (including the notice that any deposits were non-refundable) and actually paying the deposit for the procedure. Since there was no procedure planned, the physician was under no legal obligation to advise the OP of anything, however, the OP had every opportunity to ask questions and do research. The physician must fully inform the patient prior to beginning any course of treatment, and that was done (as evidenced by the signed form).
     
  15. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    I don't disagree. Hence my post #13.
     
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