23 Apr 2018

Gynaecologist removed fallopian tube without consent

8:06 pm on 23 April 2018

A gynaecologist has been ordered to apologise to a 20-year-old woman for removing one of her fallopian tubes without her consent.

Doctor with clipboard takes patient's notes

File photo. Photo: 123rf

The Health and Disability Commissioner has found the patient's rights were breached during surgery in 2015.

The woman, who was suffering from stage-four endometriosis, had been warned that her left fallopian tube, which was 'markedly thickened', might need to be removed during the surgery, but not her right.

However, during the operation the gynaecologist found the right tube was also swollen and had pus in it.

The gynaecologist said she made the 'painstaking' decision to remove it as she was concerned it could require surgery in the following days.

She said she was worried the patient could potentially end up in an intensive care unit if she became septic.

But in a report out today, Health and Disability Commissioner Anthony Hill said it was unacceptable that the tube was removed without the patient's consent.

"The right to decide was the woman's, and she was deprived of it," he said.

The gynaecologist has been ordered to complete further training and provide a written apology to the woman.