Torrance Doctor Sued For Alleged Prank On Unconscious Patient

TORRANCE (AP) — A Southern California anesthesiologist’s decision to decorate an unconscious patient’s face with stickers and a photo taken by a nurse’s aide has prompted a state investigation and civil lawsuit against the hospital and doctor for alleged breach of medical privacy.

The Los Angeles Times reports that during surgery at Torrance Memorial Medical Center in 2011, anesthesiologist Dr. Patrick Yang used stickers to give his patient a black mustache and teardrops under her left eye and then the nurse’s aide took a picture.

The patient, 36-year-old Veronica Valdez, worked at the hospital for 13 years before the surgery.

The hospital called the incident a breach of professionalism and said in a statement that it demonstrated poor judgment.

Yang and other employees in the incident were disciplined but not fired.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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