PORTLAND, Ore. (CBS Seattle/AP) — The parents of a young boy lost a $1.5 million lawsuit against Oregon Health & Science University over a surgery that rendered the child’s testicles useless.
Surgeons had performed work on the boy, then 11 months old, in 2009 in order to move his undescended testicles. The parents contend the move was supposed to occur over the span of two surgeries, but doctors attempted to move the testicles all at once. OHSU attorney Nikola Jones says the parents gave the surgeon unrestricted consent to use the surgeon’s best judgment.
“There are inherent risks of surgery … despite a surgeon’s best efforts,” Jones said.
Jurors ruled with the hospital, saying that doctors didn’t lack the necessary permission to perform the surgery, The Oregonian reports.
“They wanted to get it done right,” Richard A. Lane, attorney for the parents, told The Oregonian. “They didn’t want it to be done quick. But OHSU said they knew better. And even now they’re not listening to what the parents wanted for their son.”
While the boy’s life expectancy is normal, he will have to undergo twice-monthly testosterone injections starting at age 11 for the rest of his life to ensure that he develops the secondary sexual characteristics of a man.
Some boys are born with undescended testicles. Often the testicles will descend on their own over time, but some boys need to undergo surgery in order to have the testicles moved.
The boy in the OHSU case was born with Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome, a rare condition in which boys are more likely to have undescended testicles.
The mother of the boy took the stand Friday and fought back emotion as she described the day of the surgery. She said when doctors came out to tell them the testicles had been lost, there was a little bit of shock.
Lane said the boy suffered “a devastating harm.”
The trial lasted for six days.
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