30 comments on “Dissed by a Rose

  1. I agree that this world is growing more and more lawsuit happy by the day. But you can’t look past this doctor’s malpractice. If he REALLY wanted to make her feel better, get her a card. Where in the manual does it say to give her tattoos?! This was a clear violation of a woman’s body. No spin.

  2. I agree with Cynthia. if I woke up from a surgery and found some intrusive work done to me, questions would start to raise about what ELSE must’ve been done while I was under. I think the woman had every right to sue him. This was a perversion of medicine and a violation of ethics.

  3. Stupid move? Absolutely. But it’s not like he brought a tattoo, biker type in to go to work on her. Most temporary tats I’ve seen require very little pressure to apply. As far as the intrusiveness, the doctor OPERATED ON HER! He likely saw and touched areas anyway. It comes with the territory. I suppose next Dr. 90210 is going to get sued because he copped a feel when he gave a patient breast implants! Give me a break.

  4. Anonymous, you must be a male (no offense to other men out there. I know y’all are not all like that). How would YOU feel if you had a rose – or any other tattoo – put on your body without permission? That’s what I thought.

  5. Oh God. I saw this coming. Now it’s the sexism card. My point had NOTHING to do with sex and gender, yet that was conviently tossed into the convo. My ULTIMATE point was that when people go through surgery a body is imposed upon anyway. I never said that it wasn’t done in poor taste but it’s A. temporary and B. an “intrusive” gesture done during an “intrusive” procedure. Be careful about how much you cry sexism. You do it too much and people will stop listening.

  6. Dude, the temporary status of the tat is irrelevant. So too is the intrusiveness of the surgery. This issue is what the doctor did AFTER the surgery. The fact is, he DID put a rose around the pelvic area and did so without permission. She consented to the doctor performing the operation, but the rose wasn’t a part of the deal.

    I don’t like “frivilous” lawsuits either, but she DOES have a case here.

  7. BTW Dre, I get the humor of this title. You might wanna be careful though: if it’s true that everybody’s suing each other, Seal might have a field day with your blog title….

  8. “I never said that it wasn’t done in poor taste but it’s A. temporary and B. an “intrusive” gesture done during an “intrusive” procedure.”

    I’m going to give you a moment to see how stupid that sounds.

    I’m sorry. Most of the time I’m a pretty level headed person, but ignorance like this can’t be left unchallenged. Are you telling me that just because a person consents to one thing, they set themselves up to get subjected to a bunch of other things? if he cut her hair off, could he say “Oh, that’s OK. It’s only temporary. it’ll grow back?” If he raped her and got her pregnant, could he say ‘That’s OK. She can have an abortion.” What planet are you on to think that you can do unapproved things to people when they are unconscious?!

    Since I don’t know you personally, I’m trying to give you the benefit of not knowing how you think and operate. I’d like to think that you’re an intelligent person. BUt you’re proving me wrong each time you open your mouth.

  9. Andre, while we’re at it, I hope your not endorsing this doctor’s decisions. You calling this a frivilous lawsuit makes it sound like your siding with him.

  10. This intrusion nonsense is getting ridiculous. NO doctor is left alone with a patient. Between his staff, there could be anywhere between 4 to 8 people with him at ALL times. Somebody else was in the room when the doctor appleid the tattoo. Besides that all the other people he did this to were pleasantly suprised and even GRATEFUL for him doing it. Why would he think this woman would respond otherwise? If I had to take a stab at this, I think the woman is either a money grubber or she is getting pressured from her husband and family to push for the suit. Why would anybody think of suing someone with such considerate bedside manners? He was looking to make his patient feel better, plain and simple. If you can’t see that, maybe YOUR the one whose ignorant.

  11. i hope she sues the pants off of him. literally! the nerve! she came for surgery, not an explant of a tatoo to lift her spirits. maybe he should have a biker-type person engrave a tatoo on his penis. i’m sure he’ll think twice then before he does it again. he was WRONG!

  12. i’m so enraged by this i had to come back for additonal comments. what if she had had an allergic reaction of some sort, which may have even lkilled her? would that be ok because he was only trying to lift her spirts? it was unprofessional, unauthorized, a violation, and unethical.

  13. plus i just read where the surgery was on her back, which, as one commenter pointed out, the dr had to turn her over to put the tatto below her pantyline. pervert!

  14. Dag! How do y’all really feel?

    To address a few points without going one by one:

    (1) I’m curious to see what kind of treatment his male patients get for similar operations. Until there is context, I can’t rule out the idea that sexism IS involved. Roses? Pelvic areas?

    (2) I think the doctor should be fined. But anything more than that is a stretch. One ethical slip up shouldn’t cost a person his entire way of life (especially considering what many politicians get away with. It’s a different situation, I know. But the the underlying principle of unethcial behavior still applies.)

    (3) Even if she DOES sue, the amount of the damages sought will impact my decision on whether or not this woman is being a “money grubber”. If she’s seeking a few thousand, fine. But if it’s more than – let’s say – $20,000, I can see red flags being drawn.

    Interesting observations from you folks.

  15. “But if it’s more than – let’s say – $20,000, I can see red flags being drawn.”

    a white flag, maybe, for him surrendering to the fact that he was stupid and unethical. the seriousness of this case shouldn’t be minimized in any way. if he gets away with this, as he seems to have done with the other patients, who may have been too scared to come forth and say something publicly, or are just too stupid to have any opinion at all, then what will he do next. molest someone (if he hasn’t already while tatooing the unauthorized area). again, i hope she sues the medical pants off of him.

  16. Well Sylv, I think his previous experience with other patients should be taken into some consideration here. If nobody has complained about this issue until now, the doctor would have no reason to think what he was doing was bad. Unethical,? Sure. But a foul isn’t a foul until somebody blows the whistle.

    In a somewhat related circumstance, there is a particular security guard who works on my campus. He makes it a point to escort people across streets (mostly white women; he’s black), strike up conversations (usually extensive) and even goes as far as to bring gifts for people (mostly flowers). Though I think it’s a little odd and certainly not within the realm of his job, people seemingly embrace it. While I try to warn him that it only takes that one person to call it harassment, he doesn’t let my warning deter him from keeping up his routine. Now if (or when) that one person DOES cry harassment, I can at least tell this guy that he was warned. Essentially, he continues to make the choice of engaging with people in light of my warning urging him to stop.

    If proof can be found that somebody warned the doctor to stop tattooing people (preferrably, a higher up issuing the warning), perhaps a lawsuit would be justifiable. But for a first time offense with NO warning; coupled with TONS of other patients who actually appreciated what he did, he should be exempt from severe consequences, IMO.

  17. OK. Maybe the doctor didn’t exercise the best judgment. But a lawsuit? Who would have the heart to destroy a person’s career over something that can be washed off and that was put on with nothing but good intentions? This lawsuit stands to ruin a doctor’s hard-earned career, hospital time and fees (which impact how OUR insurance premiums are made up). plus getting judges, lawyers, jurors, and taxpayer dollars…and for what? At best, the woman and those egging her on should cuss the doctor out and stop giving their business to him.

  18. if I were the doctor, I wouldn’t be all that concerned. I only see one aspect of this case holding up in court. The invasion of privacy issue might become an issue (which is also a stretch given how patients lose that privacy during operations). But sex-related offenses are out of the question because there was no intercourse and it was likely done in full view of his entire team. As everybody has says, it was bad judgment on his part. But I don’t think anybody except for a greedy lawyer and his greedy plantiff will push for anything more than a settlement of a few thousand just to shut them up.

  19. If this thing does go to trial, at least other hard working doctors can get a look at the person who is going to be suing them in the future. That way, they can turn her away if she ever comes to them. Protect yourselves! DO NOT SERVE ANYBODY NAMED ELIZABETH MATEO!!!!

  20. @ J. Alex: “This lawsuit stands to ruin a doctor’s hard-earned career, hospital time and fees (which impact how OUR insurance premiums are made up). plus getting judges, lawyers, jurors, and taxpayer dollars…and for what? At best, the woman and those egging her on should cuss the doctor out and stop giving their business to him.

    I have a friend who just graduated from med school; and that’s only half the battle for her. I would hate to see her lose everything just because she was needlessly (and erroneously) courteous to the wrong person on the wrong day.

    @ Row: Right now, I don’t have enough information about the story to determine if sexual impropriety can be adequately brought into the discussion. I read a few comments from folks claiming to be on the staff from the hospital who — incidentally — claim the opposite of the accusations being brought forth. In fact, those folks had nothing but glowing reviews for the doctor and can even account for when the tattoo was applied. Of course, I can’t exactly speak to the veracity of those claims right now. Everything is still up in the air. I’m definitely interested in how this story develops.

    @ Anonymous: “If this thing does go to trial, at least other hard working doctors can get a look at the person who is going to be suing them in the future.

    I wouldn’t go that far. I would just use this story as a cautionary tale to any professionals who conduct activities with clients/customers/patients that fall outside of the normal line of duty. There could be serious consequences involved.

  21. Uh oh. I’m a woman who has to side with the guys on this one:

    1. Let’s look at it. The doctor placed the temporary tattoo in that place because that’s likely where the insicion took place. Not to be “sexy” If she would’ve received arm surgery, it probably would’ve been on her arm.

    2. I don’t believe that the doctor had any malicious or evil intent. He probably thought that it would make her smile when she saw it. (as I would’ve)

    3. No doubt about it, it was in bad taste but to be sued for it? Really? What has the woman TRULY suffered from? Is the tattoo coming into her dreams at night? Is the tattoo causing her not to receive interviews or causing her children to think differently of her? What is her real complaint? Isn’t the scar that he gave her going to last longer than the tattoo?

    IMO, the doctor was probably trying to be nice (especially seeing how doctors earn a reputation of being cold-hearted with a non-exsistant personality) and just wanted to make his patient smile.

    My main point is that although the doctor probably shouldnt have placed it there (because of over-the-top people like her, IMO) he did it to lift her spirits, not to be malicious. If I was the judge, I’d simply order him to refund her money for the operation. He’d have to take a seminar in business ethics and she’d have to see a councellor since she “She was extremely emotionally upset by it.” Case closed. We need to stop being so damn petty…..sorry…

  22. I agree that this was a clear violation of a person’s body. But what I don’t think is that this should be used as a poster case for sexism for the very reason one of the posters said: crying sexism ruins legitimate examples of sexism that go on everyday. Likewise I think that — anger aside — suing is a bit too much in this situation. If it is not some outrageous amount that will destroy the doctor’s life, so be it. But the larger the lawsuit, the more other people will start doing the same. I can just see malpractice insurance premiums flying through the roof over NON medical issues. Something has to be done for sure. And if the woman was suffering from mental distress (difficult to prove, by the way) give her something. But don’t ruin a man or add to the mess hurting the medical field just because of the $$$ signs off in the distance.

  23. @ Jos: “I’m a woman who has to side with the guys on this one:”

    Captain’s log: Monday, July 29, 2008…

    1. Let’s look at it. The doctor placed the temporary tattoo in that place because that’s likely where the insicion took place. Not to be “sexy” If she would’ve received arm surgery, it probably would’ve been on her arm.

    I was doing a little bit of reading up on herniated disc surgery. Most incision points are in the small of the back not in the abdomen area. I think that’s where the “flipping her over” part of the discussion comes from. Still, I get your point. Wherever he put the tat, I liken it to a “kiss from daddy to make it all better.” A pretty corny gesture if you ask me, but I think that’s ALL it was. Which takes me to your second point:

    2. I don’t believe that the doctor had any malicious or evil intent. He probably thought that it would make her smile when she saw it. (as I would’ve)

    I think you capture the essense of why I think this case is frivilous. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it a thousand times: intent has to be considered.

    IMO, the doctor was probably trying to be nice (especially seeing how doctors earn a reputation of being cold-hearted with a non-exsistant personality) and just wanted to make his patient smile.

    The critical mistake the doctor made was assuming that what was good for the rest of the gander was good for that particular goose. In the end, a gesture that would’ve made the day of 999,999 other people drove that one person to sue.

    If I was the judge, I’d simply order him to refund her money for the operation. He’d have to take a seminar in business ethics and she’d have to see a councellor since she “She was extremely emotionally upset by it.” Case closed.

    That’s what I’m talkin’ about, Jos! Simple solution to a simple problem. If everybody else were half as intelligent as you…:)

  24. @ Ellena: “And if the woman was suffering from mental distress (difficult to prove, by the way) give her something. But don’t ruin a man or add to the mess hurting the medical field just because of the $$$ signs off in the distance.

    Bingo. I’m not tryin’ to see my insurance go up because some Scrooge can’t look at a nice (but admittedly not-so-smart) gesture at face value. Offer her something to make this thing go away; but not at the expense of ruining a good doctor.

  25. This is a strange story, no doubt about it. But it’s not lawsuit worthy.

  26. This story is so simple, we’re making it hard. Here’s how you resolve this situation:

    Step 1: Apply rubbing alcohol to the tattooed region. Rub vigorously
    Step 2: Rinse skin with water.
    Step 3: Dry with a cloth
    Step 4: Repeat steps 1-3 until tattoo is gone.
    Step 5: Live a happy and tattoo-less life.

    Total compensatory damages (rubbing alcohol + water + cloth): $3.29.

  27. Having been under the knife, I want to trust that my surgeon has not decided to manifest his creative and “spirit lifting” side on me while I am under anaesthetic and under his care. All I care about is that he is professional, competent, trustworthy and respectful and that he is performing the agreed task on my body. I don’t want to think that while I’m in a vunerable and unconscious state all sorts of things are happening to me for which I did not consent.

    I will admit: I would not sue the doctor in this situation because it is not worth the effort. But I would demand a refund on the operation, an investigation into the event, and for the doctor to be punished for his actions through probation and/or fines.

  28. This lady’s case is outrageously dumb. While most of the country is going without adequate health insurance, a 30-year-old clerical worker (who should be grateful to receive quality care) is trying to sue for something insignificant. It wasn’t right what the doctor did, but there are far worse things out there. I’d bet that the millions of Americans WITHOUT health care would get brandished with a permanent tattoo that says “I suck b*lls” if that meant they would be taken care of. This woman doesn’t deserve a single penny. What she really needs is a punch in the ovaries.

  29. @ Saved: What would make this strange story even stranger (IMO) is if the lawsuit actually sticks.

    @ Anonymous: “Total compensatory damages (rubbing alcohol + water + cloth): $3.29

    If juries only applied the same kind of reasoning to their verdicts…

    @ Joanne: “All I care about is that he is professional, competent, trustworthy and respectful and that he is performing the agreed task on my body.

    it’s possible the doctor may’ve thought that he earned the reputation of being all those things based – in part – on gestures like the tattoo gesture. Again, unless somebody was there to emphatically tell him not to include that in his routine, he may have thought using the tattoo actually made him MORE professional, likable, etc. Sounds silly. But some people really DO think along those lines.

    @ MissKD: “This woman doesn’t deserve a single penny. What she really needs is a punch in the ovaries.

    I agreed with you up until this point. This was just mean.

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