Voluntary kidney transplant is fatal, doctors face malpractice liability

Monday June 18, 2012

When you enter the hospital for care or surgery, you expect that your treatment will meet medical professional standards. People must be especially trusting of their doctors, surgeons and providers when they enter for a voluntary surgery. In a tragic case of surgical error and medical malpractice, a woman lost her life while undergoing voluntary surgery to donate a kidney to her dying brother.

According to reports, the 41-year-old mother of three bled to death on the operating table after her aorta was sliced during the surgery. Since the accident, the hospital has voluntary suspended its “Live Donor Organ Transplant Program.” In addition to the internal investigation, the New York state health department has also launched an investigation into the death of the voluntary donor. She was the first person in the hospital’s live organ donor program to die in more than four decades and 1,000 operations.

The woman had entered the hospital to donate a kidney to her brother who suffered from renal failure and had been on kidney dialysis since February. The kidney transplant was ultimately unsuccessful, but the hospital did find a donation match from a deceased donor. The brother is overcome with grief and guilt for his sister that lost her life while trying to save his.

The family and friends of the victim are rightfully shocked, wondering how such a negligent and serious error could happen with experienced doctors behind the transplant surgery. The family has obtained legal representation and is planning to pursue a medical malpractice claim against the negligent doctors and the hospital.

Source: Huffington Post, “Yolanda Medina, New York Mother Dies During Operation to Donate Kidney to Her Brother,” Tara Kelly, June 7, 2012.

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