Row over angry, penis-removing doctor
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Doctors' unions in Romania have criticised a decision to make a surgeon pay Â£100,000 in damages after he lost his temper and hacked off a patient's penis during surgery.
Surgeon Naum Ciomu, who had been suffering from stress at the time, had been operating on patient Nelu Radonescu, 36, to correct a testicular malformation when he suddenly lost his temper.
Grabbing a scalpel, he sliced off the penis in front of shocked nursing staff, and then placed it on the operating table where he chopped it into small pieces before storming out of the operating theatre at Bucharest hospital.
A Romanian court has now awarded Radonescu Â£20,000 costs â€“ to pay for the operation to rebuild his ruined penis using tissue from his arm â€“ as well as 100,000 pounds in damages.
The medical costs will be paid by the hospital's insurer, but doctors' unions have criticised the decision that the money for the damages has to be paid by the doctor.
They say the move sets a dangerous precedent and that Professor Ciomu, a urologist and lecturer in anatomy, has already been punished enough after having his medical licence suspended.
They said he had been under stress and had lost his temper after he accidentally cut the man's urinary channel and 'overreacted' to the situation. He told the court it was a temporary loss of judgement due to personal problems.
Vice-president of the Romanian Doctors Union, Vasile Astarastoae, said: 'Ciomu's case is a dangerous precedent for all Romanian doctors. In future doctors may have to think very carefully about what work they undertake.'
Because obviously, the last thing you want is a doctor thinking carefully about the work they're doing.
The director of the ophthalmology hospital in Bucharest, Dr Monica Pop (yes, actually her name), agreed saying that doctors would in future avoid any cases where they could end up in court having to pay damages.
She added: 'Doctors in Romanian earn too little to be able to pay amounts like this. As a result it will be entirely fair if they only accept cases where they cannot make mistakes. The only way this can be avoided is if the insurance companies cover all the risk.'
Row over angry, penis-removing doctor | Metro.co.uk