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Patient Says He Was Defamed During Colonoscopy

His phone reportedly recorded docs' abusive banter.

Published: April 25, 2014

A Virginia man is suing Bethesda, Md.-based anesthesia provider Safe Sedation as a result of a disturbing conversation 2 physicians allegedly had while he was unconscious and undergoing a colonoscopy in April 2013.

The complaint alleges that anesthesiologist Tiffany Ingham and gastroenterologist Soloman Shah, both MDs, began mocking the patient as soon as he was sedated. Dr. Ingham allegedly joked about "firing a gun up a rectum" and told the unconscious patient, "after 5 minutes of talking to you in pre-op, I wanted to punch you in the face and man you up a little bit."

According to the complaint, both doctors continued to belittle the patient and joked that he had syphilis after a medical assistant touched his penis for no apparent reason. When it was noted that the patient had gone to one-time women's college Mary Washington University, the physicians allegedly wondered aloud about his sexual orientation. According to the complaint, Dr. Ingham said, "Are you implying that he's gay? Because I know gay men that have more manliness than him."

The complaint also alleges that the doctors talked about "misleading and avoiding" him when he regained consciousness. Dr. Ingham allegedly said she planned to note in his file that he had hemorrhoids, even though he didn't.

The patient had been recording post-op care instructions on his phone and accidentally left the phone in record mode during the procedure. He and his wife reportedly heard the offensive remarks during their drive home from the procedure. He's asking for $1 million in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages for defamation, infliction of emotional distress and illegally disclosing his health records.

Calls to Drs. Ingham and Shah, and to Safe Sedation, were not returned.

Jim Burger


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