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Lawsuit Filed in Federal Court Against UVA Medical Center CEO, Staff

Posted: Updated: Jun 13, 2018 03:19 PM
The University of Virginia Medical Center (FILE IMAGE) The University of Virginia Medical Center (FILE IMAGE)
Jeffrey E. Fogel Jeffrey E. Fogel
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Staff members at the University of Virginia Medical Center are under fire for allegedly administering medical tests without consent on a patient who had attempted to take her own life.

Charlottesville-based attorney Jeffrey E. Fogel, who represents the anonymous patient, filed a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday, June 12, against several doctors, nurses and the CEO of the Medical Center.

Fogel is arguing that the defendants violated his client's right to refuse medical treatment when she was brought to the emergency room after a suicide attempt.

“There doesn't seem to be any question in these medical records that she was fully competent to make these decisions. Now they may not have liked the decisions that she was making, but that’s not their option. She has the right to make decisions about her life or her body,” said Fogel.

In the lawsuit, “Jane Doe” said she would not agree to have her blood taken and that medical personnel administered drugs against her wishes. Staff then allegedly restrained the woman and inserted a catheter after she refused to give a urine sample. "Doe" claims she is now suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result.

“It may well be that the doctors have the best intentions to save their clients or the Hippocratic oath, or whatever, but it is simply unethical to treat somebody that does not want to be treated,” the plaintiff’s attorney said.

The lawsuit alleges one of the defendants told "Jane Doe" the emergency custody order (ECO) authorized taking of samples and providing medications or treatment even if she objected.

Fogel says a U.S. Supreme Court decision nearly 30 years ago protects his client's right to refuse treatment.

The University of Virginia Health System says the Medical Center's policy is to not comment on on-going lawsuits.

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