Bang v. Charles T. Miller Hospital

251 Minn. 427, 88 N.W.2d 186 (1958)

 

RULE:

The question of whether or not there was an assault or unauthorized operation should have been submitted to the jury.

FACTS:

Bang was referred to the doctor after he was informed that he had an enlargement of the prostate gland and bladder soreness. The doctor from Charles T. Miller Hospital told the patient that he wished to make a cystoscopic exam because he was not certain of the exact nature of the patient’s ailment. The doctor did not tell the patient that any examination had anything to do with Bang’s spermatic cords. After performing the cystoscopic exam, the doctor told Bang that a transurethral prostatic resection should be done. During the operation, Bang’s spermatic cords were severed. The doctor testified that he was unsure if he informed the patient of this part of the procedure. The trial court denied plaintiffs’ alternative motion to vacate the dismissal of their action against defendant doctor or for a new trial.

ISSUE:

Should the question of whether or not there was an assault or unauthorized operation have been submitted to the jury?

ANSWER:

Yes

CONCLUSION:

The court held that whether or not the patient consented to the severance of his spermatic cords was a question for the jury and that it was an error for the trial court to dismiss the action. Additionally, the court held that in a situation where there was no immediate emergency, the patient should have been informed before the operations that his spermatic cords were to be severed. The court reversed the dismissal of the patient and the wife’s action against the doctor. The court granted a new trial.

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