When Dr. Adada was cutting into the wrong side of Cody Metheny’s brain, he was already making grave mistakes that showed that he had a lack of integrity and moral judgment regarding the life of all of his patients. He failed to prepare adequately for the surgery that he was about to perform. He was unaware of what side of the brain he was supposed to be operating on. He did not double check with the medical records and discussed the case with his nurses in the operating suite. Later, he lied to the parents of the patient and told them while he did cut into the wrong side of Metheny’s brain; no tissue was removed. It wasn’t until months later that the truth came out. It is these actions that show there is a lack of integrity .
Integrity is defined as the value of honesty and sound moral principles. Dr. Adada has neither of these. He failed to prepare adequately for the operation, therefore harming his patient. He made a blundering mistake and then lied about it. This is the epitome of a lack of integrity for a medical professional. He also failed to complete a universal protocol required by the hospital accrediting body, The Joint Commission . The universal protocol requires surgeons to complete a pre-procedure verification process, mark the procedure site, and perform a time-out before the first cut is ever made. This protocol was put into place to avoid surgery on the wrong site, surgery on the wrong person, and completely the wrong procedure. If he had gone through the universal protocol before ever making a cut into Metheny’s skull, Dr. Adada would have realized that he was planning on operating on the wrong side of the brain .
If the facts of the case are reported accurately, criminal charges should be placed against Dr. Adana. He failed to care properly for his patient in such a negligent manner that it is criminal. His lying and lack of integrity would and did make a case for monetary damages, but his blatant disregard for human life provides evidence of improper medical care and, therefore, he should be held accountable in a court of law.
I choose to react to this story because of the outrageous display of a lack of integrity shown by Dr. Adana. I think that sometimes it is easy to cover up a small mistake or error in judgment that doesn’t affect someone else’s health, but attempting to cover up a situation where the wrong side of a brain is operated on shows a complete lack of morals and is exceedingly unethical. Besides lying to the family, how did Dr. Adana prevent any of the nurses, anesthesiologists, or other medical professionals in the operating suite from discussing telling other people of the mistake. Brain surgery requires the help of many people, and someone else must have realized and seen that he had made a mistake. He must have coerced these people to lie with him and, therefore, to behave unethically again.
Integrity is highly valued at my clinic. Administration has always felt that people are human, and, therefore, mistakes are made. While we work very hard to prevent errors from happening, our team feels it is much easier to admit the mistake and work forward to correct it, than to deny an error had taken place and allow it to continue.
- Associated Press. (2012, December 17). Judgment Upheld in Arkansas Brain Surgery Lawsuit. Retrieved from Insurance Journal: http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southcentral/2012/12/17/274239.htm
- Boodman, S. (2011, June 20). The Pain of Wrong Site Surgery. Retrieved from The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/the-pain-of-wrong-site-surgery/2011/06/07/AGK3uLdH_story.html
- The Joint Commission. (2016). The Universal Protocol. Retrieved from The Joint Commission: http://www.jointcommission.org/assets/1/18/UP_Poster1.PDF