Monday, 19 of February of 2018

Robot Surgical Assistants and Medical Malpractice

Da Vinci robots perform incisions and sutures in the course of heart bypass, valve repair, hysterectomy, prostate and other major surgeries.

By Jim Lewis, Medical Malpractice Attorney in Virginia

Use a robotic surgical assistant called the Da Vinci Surgical System has quadrupled since 2007, now being used by surgeons in 2,000 hospitals around the world performing. According to the Los Angeles Times. Da Vinci robots perform incisions and sutures in the course of heart bypass, valve repair, hysterectomy, prostate and other major surgeries.

Before you get visions of “I-Robot” in your head, keep in mind that Da Vinci does not perform surgical procedures all by itself. The device is operated by a surgeon who uses joystick-like controllers. Still, increased use of the robotic system could have legal implications for victims of medical malpractice.

If a perforated bowel occurs during a hysterectomy, for instance, should the patient bring a medical negligence claim against the surgeon or the manufacturer of the robot? The answer may not be clear. The surgeon would probably try to avoid liability by arguing that the robot was defective, while the manufacturer would probably argue that the surgeon was negligent.

Who said technology was supposed to make things simpler for people?

PA

About the Editors: The VA-NC medical malpractice attorneys at  Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton include medical and surgical malpractice lawyers licensed in both Virginia (VA) and Carolina (NC/SC). Our medical/hospital malpractice focus on personal injury and accident law and have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctor mistakes and nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see our medical and doctor malpractice track record of success. Be sure to read our free medical malpractice reports Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider and Top 5 Surgical Errors. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. They, along with fellow attorney John M. Cooper, have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor which fewer than 5 percent of outstanding lawyers receive.