Heartland Regional Medical Center in Marion, Illinois had a problem recently where two babies were mixed up after being circumcised. Both sets of parents consented to violating their sons, so there wasn’t much to blog about beyond the obvious point that no one should be surprised at any incompetence found in a hospital that routinely performs unnecessary surgery on the genitals of healthy male children. That alone is sufficient proof of incompetence.
Still, the hospital felt the need to implement solutions to prevent the mistaken identity. If you’re going to violate a child, you should do it as few times as possible, I suppose. Part of the solution:
- Only one baby, one doctor and one circumcision at a time. …
- The RN whose mother/baby couplet requires a circumcision will be the same RN who does the time out, accompanies the baby to the surgery and assists the physician with the surgery. That RN is also responsible for band verification and the time out.
Concerning operating room policies, Lang said surgical services must be consistent with needs and resources. Policies governing surgical care must be designed to assure the achievement and maintenance of high standards of medical practice and patient care.
Thirty circumcisions a month will be observed for the next four months to insure time outs are performed according to the hospital’s policy and procedure.
Concerning patients’ rights, Lang stated that the patient has the right to receive care in a safe setting.
All that attention, and the only concern for the actual patient’s rights is that the patient has the right to receive care in a safe setting. How about the more fundamental right to receive “care” only when it’s medically necessary and indicated? Is that not a right? Would it be okay to amputate a child’s arms, as long as it’s done in a safe setting? Have rights really regressed to the point that we view a clean scalpel as the ceiling of a patient’s rights?