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Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy Atrocity

This is an often-published and frequently-used essay inside and outside the patient's-rights community. The detail illustrated in this essay does not apply to only injury victims of botched laparoscopic cholecystectomy; they apply to ALL medical malpractice cases where a cover-up is created.

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy was introduced in my area the winter of 1990-91. There were a lot of surgeons to be trained at once, who needed to do 3-8 procedures apiece in order to get certified and meet their credentialing quotas, and not enough "teaching/training material" to go around for all. The scramble was on to get certified as fast as possible.

This new surgery was very dangerous, with an unreported injury rate of 80% in the hands of novices, who make their worst mistakes in the first 20 of these surgeries they perform. In the introductory phase of laparoscopic cholecystectomy, all were novices so the injury rate was astronomical. (Archives Of Surgery 2001; 136.1287-1292)

I say the injury rate is much higher than reported ten years after-the-fact; the retrospective study cited above only counts the cases repaired within 90 days of injury. Regardless, an 80% injury rate is shocking. That 80% injury rate was deliberately concealed from the public until 2001; nobody in their right mind would have agreed to undergo an ELECTIVE procedure with just a 20% chance of coming through it well.

New surgery is usually introduced through academic centers attached to a university. Not laparoscopic cholecystectomy; it was too dangerous and had too many human-rights violations attached to it; patient safety regulations would have to be wantonly violated in myriad ways to fix this new procedure as a standard.

Laparoscopic gallbladder surgery was introduced and trained first at free-standing, privately-funded, training centers (the laparoscopic equipment manufacturing company) and the surgeons from the academic centers who trained at these special centers, after becoming stockholders in the equipment manufacturing company and acquiring a vested interest in establishing this new technology at any cost in human life, would return home and set up satellite training centers at privately-owned hospitals well-known to have a self-serving indifference to patient safety and human rights when up against increased profits for themselves.

There were good reasons for the crooked surgeons from within the academic centers deliberately removing this particular surgery training from the academic centers over to crooked private hospitals: the academic centers get federal funding and continued funding depends on the academic centers following specific human-rights regulations (outlined in The Belmont Report) and oversight by the federal government. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy could not meet even one of those regulations. Plus, using people as experimental subjects without their knowledge or consent, forcing people into uncompensated service, is slavery--abolished by the 13th amendment to the Constitution. At the crooked private hospitals controls could be placed to prevent discovery and thwart consequences to the criminal activity; the private hospitals have complete control of the medical record and the hospitals owned by the health insurance companies, who hoped to profit by this new technology, could easily extract as much "teaching/training material" from their policyholders when their policyholders showed up in their plan-doctor's offices and their own emergency rooms complaining of miserable stomach symptoms when their man-made "epidemic" struck.

Potential patients were deliberately lied to about the safety of this new procedure in order to elicit confidence and compliance: the teaching hospitals and training centers needed to gather as many warm bodies as possible, as quickly as possible, for the initial, large training swarm.

Bile duct injury is one of the worst complications in abdominal surgery; it is virtually untreatable even in the best of hands. Repairs are best left to specialists at specialty centers equipped to handle work this delicate and complicated. Morbidity and mortality is determined by early, proper intervention. The proper aftercare is expensive, uncertain, and lifelong.

The health insurers did not want to foot the enormous bill for all the serious, and expensive, injuries caused by the doctors-in-training so it was decided that the patients injured would be placed in a sociopathically inhumane "program" of fast and cheap disposal: they would be discharged untreated, their increasing symptoms ignored or masqueraded to other causes, they'd be offered symptomatic relief only, emotionally battered into silence and despair, and allowed to die. The deaths would be written off to other causes and the families forced to carry the financial burden.

The "standard of care" is criminally, inhumanely REVERSED. Medical "care" is offered only to accelerate the injury and compound the damage; the victims are placed at a terrible disadvantage and unable to protect themselves with the correct diagnosis deliberately withheld.

Definitive testing is absolutely denied no matter how many times we ask for it: NONE OF US ARE ALLOWED TO HAVE A MRI OF THE INJURED AREA EVEN WHEN WE OFFER TO PAY FOR IT OURSELVES. I have been asking for a MRI for eleven years now; my previous family doctor wrote an order for one just to show me what would happen if he did: every lab in town refused to perform it! The unperformed order is scanned and posted on my website: http://home.earthlink.net/~eelabozetta/

Meanwhile, waiting to die untreated, the medical syndicate maximizes their opportunities and uses these victims up to their own benefit. Our assets are plundered/pirated by various means, first and foremost is a standardized battery of expensive, painful, and dangerous unnecessary testing, which is stacked on for the already-known injury and an enormous medical debt is run up. The reasoning and justification being: "where these victims are heading, they won't be needing any of their money; someone might as well take it and it might as well be us--the early bird gets the worm" and the medical syndicate makes sure they are first in line for these injury victims' estates one way or another; the injury victims are mercilessly mined for all that can be extracted. The medical syndicate has an "eat-what-you-kill" approach to dealing with the injury victims they create: "eat" means consume completely leaving nothing behind, as in they will band together like a pack of wild dogs and methodically shred the injury victim one of their "pack" has created: physically, socially, financially. They will justify their savagery by rewriting it into more acceptable "feel-good" language and by liberally applying the standardized "buzzwords/buzzphrases" they have all been programmed with: "we will use this case as a learning experience", "it is okay to sacrifice a few to benefit many", "doctors have to learn somehow..."

What they have forgotten is that doctors do not have a right to patient's lives. They have a right to practice the profession of their choosing but they do not have a right to use up the lives of others! It is all about ownership and who owns these lives. Killing people to enrich themselves crosses a line.

No redress or relief is allowed through the courts except for a rare few "showcases". Because access to the courts is blocked, these victims eventually become financially enslaved to the very ones who injured them. If they do not pay the huge medical debt run up on them, liens are clapped on their homes and retirement funds at work, or their spouse's assets. People should not be forced to bankroll their own murders.

Some racket.

After injury, these particular victims become classified as "scrap" and every surgery done solely for student training purposes is stacked onto them that can be, the justification being "they are dying anyhow so why not?" The most dangerous surgery training, experimentation, drug and device testing, is saved for this category of injury victims. There is plenty of coercion involved: if the target doesn't agree to the recommended surgery pain control and symptomatic relief gets cut off and the victim has to "earn" it back by allowing themselves to be used as a guinea pig for the medical students to practice surgery on: no surgery means no pain control. "Punitive medicine" is being practiced and heavily applied.

Withholding pain control is used as a tool of coercion in another way too: the injury victims who do not follow the explicit order to be silent about their doctor-caused injury gets cut off pain control as punishment. (I spent several years cut off pain control and symptomatic relief as punishment for my patient's-rights activism)

These injury victims are called a "sacrifice" and are smugly told "it is okay to sacrifice a few to benefit many!" by the ones who used their lives up to advance their own agendas.

The medical malpractice insurers did not want to pay out every valid claim; they would respond to just one class of injury victim: the cases that collapsed before discharge from the hospital and could not be masqueraded to other causes. If forced to pay out every valid claim for the thousands of injuries created in the introductory phase of this dangerous new surgery, they'd all quickly go broke. It was just plain cheaper to use us up and kill us off after injury by deliberate, systematic, neglect and abuse.

I witnessed something very odd back when this new surgery was being introduced in my area in the winter of 1990-91: all of a sudden too many people around me were coming down sick with an "epidemic" of some sort. They had miserable stomach symptoms that sent them running to doctor's offices and the emergency rooms begging for relief.

In December of 1990 my husband was hospitalized for about three weeks, after suffering several weeks of increasing intestinal misery that wore him down to skin stretched over bone. His doctor did a culture before he was hospitalized and told him he was infected with an organism "usually found in animals" but would not tell him what the organism was called. We did not know the awful things we do now so paid little attention to it.

My husband was sick all winter and into the spring.

At the same time, starting in the autumn of 1990, just like my husband's illness began, I started having bouts of indigestion at night like nothing I had ever experienced before; it started off slow and increased to the point it was happening every night after dinner; eventually I started vomiting for hours at a stretch. I wrote it off to the stress of having a sick husband and three children at home to take care of alone...but I was wrong in that assumption.

My oldest son, a teenager, started having stomach problems that increased to where he was vomiting blood; the doctors he sought relief from acted like it was nothing to worry about at all and offered no intervention whatsoever, which I thought was very odd under the circumstances. No matter where he went for help he got the brush-off. Strange.

My neighbors were having stomach problems too, going in for tests and so on.

My relatives were also sick. Many are still sick.

It seemed like everyone around us were getting hit with this strange epidemic, although we had no idea what it could be at the time or why it was happening; I'd overhear conversations in public places of people complaining about odd digestive problems. I was also hearing about lots of people having gallbladder surgery, which I seldom heard before. In my lifetime I had run across just a handful of people who had gallbladder surgery; suddenly everyone was getting it. I paid little attention to that phenomenon also.

Soon after, prescription drugs like Tagamet, Zantac, Pepcid, Prilosec, and such became over-the-counter so I guess we were not the only ones to note the strange and sudden national "epidemic" and actively respond to it: the marketplace quickly responded to this sudden, large "need".

June 3rd, 1991 I woke to a boring pain at the pit of my stomach. I had never been sick a day in my life up to that point. It didn't go away so I went to see my family doctor. He gave me what I later learned all sick like this got from their doctors: Tagamet, Librax, and Tylenol 3. I got better for a short while, then I got much worse.

One night I was vomiting so much I went to an ER. Without examining me thoroughly or performing the proper testing, the ER doctor told me I needed to have my gallbladder taken out and gave me a referral to the teaching hospital's "special" on-site laparoscopic training center--one of the two set up in this city to train laparoscopic cholecystectomy. The ER doctor said: "we have this great new way of doing it; what are you waiting for!?" and was very pushy about it.

Later, I find out all referring doctors get a bonus/kick-back for each referral they make to the teaching hospital's resident/student training program.

Some doctors were so eager to make referrals, I learned much later when it was too late, that they were sending people in for gallbladder surgery who came into the ER for bruised ribs gotten at a fall; my sister was referred by an ER doctor who did not even examine her--if he had examined her, he would have seen her big scar and known she'd already had her gallbladder removed 20 years prior! The elderly retired and housewives seemed to be the primary targets of this atrocity.

I had little contact with the medical community at that point in time and was not savvy to the things I am savvy to now. I did not know enough then to question the "diagnosis" or ask for the proper testing; I did not know what the proper testing consisted of. I certainly did not know about the two special laparoscopic "training centers" set up in our city.

If I knew then what I know now I would have demanded that they "show me the pictures" and prove the diagnosis and perform the proper diagnostic testing; if I truly had gallstones I'd have better chosen the non-invasive treatments like ursodiol dissolution or lithotripsy.

But I was trusting and ignorant, did not question the connection between everyone around me getting sick all at once, and all of a sudden so many people were being told they needed their gallbladders taken out...that came later.

In short, I was just a cookie-baking housewife whose world began and ended at the property line and made the perfect target for a flim-flam of this magnitude.

I went to the surgeon's group I was referred to; the surgeon I saw at the appointment recommended surgery strongly and actively discouraged all the other treatment options. He gave me printed literature provided by the laparoscopic equipment manufacturer and some homemade material extolling the virtues of this new procedure and discouraging the other treatment options.

He did not perform the proper pre-op testing but I had no idea at the time what the proper testing was, just trusted blindly. I believed him when he said I needed gallbladder surgery thinking he was basing his recommendation on the test results.

All of the tests were negative anyhow. He did not tell me this before surgery; I found out two years later when I asked for copies of my paper file at the hospital.

The surgeon told me he was excited because the hospital had just purchased new laser equipment and he was anxious to use it: I'd be having a laser gallbladder surgery. He told me it was superior because it cuts and cauterizes at the same time.

He did not tell me that combining two new technologies without mastering either first is especially dangerous and increases risk of damage. He also did not tell me what a bile duct injury actually means, that it is a death sentence. He said: "once we nicked one...but closed it with one stitch" like it was easily repaired that way. He left out the part where the biliary system is very scar-prone because it has a limited blood supply and that this scarring can close off bile ducts and kill.

The printed literature my surgeon gave me were filled with deliberate and calculated lies: it lied about the safety of this new procedure and who would actually be performing it. It lied about the response I could expect if something were to go wrong. It also lied about the actual repairability of a bile duct injury and what it means in real life.

He also did not tell me that the hospital is a teaching hospital and that they get paid by the government to train residents who are under the protection of "sovereign immunity", and that their green trainees are sneaked in after patients are anesthetized to perform the surgeries under the supervision of the already-trained, experienced, surgeons we consult and are deliberately misled to believe will be performing our surgeries themselves--classic "bait-and-switch" tactics.

These surgeons, who train the students for the teaching hospitals, quote only their OWN death and injury rates for this particular surgery knowing full well that a student is going to be sneaked in to do it instead--flagrantly violating the laws and spirit of informed consent. There is a vast difference in death and injury rates between a practicing surgeon and a student trainee---especially for an area of the body as unforgiving and scar-forming as the biliary system.

To make a very long and detailed story short, I was operated on August 9, 1991 and was severely injured: bile duct injury. The injury was repaired with an ineffective quicky, cheapo, graft that could be sneaked in through a one-inch cut at the uppermost trocar site and is useful only to keep injury victims alive long enough to do their dying outside the hospital after discharge so the deaths could be written off to other causes, unreported and concealed. My injury and bad repair were hidden from me just like what was done to everyone else "sacrificed" to the initial training frenzy of laparoscopic cholecystectomy and I was discharged the next day. The injury manifested immediately: at home I got sick and my symptoms quickly increased. Two days after discharge I got very sick and my husband called EMS; they come to the house but refused to transport me! Odd. The EMS staff told me to call my surgeon and find out what he wants to do instead; the surgeon told me to go to the hospital ER but still EMS won't transport so we go in our car.

I return to the ER and am sent back home again.

I see my surgeon at the follow-up visit and he is acting very strange, like a whole different personality. I start to talk about the odd symptoms and he leaves the room. Odd.

Later, I get much worse; I call him up and he gives me a prescription over the phone, acts like it is nothing at all, and will not respond no matter what I do or say. His senior partner is on call over Thanksgiving and says I need to be seen in the office and to make an appointment. I see my surgeon again; he is acting even stranger than the previous visit and tells me he has no idea what could be wrong and he has to do some tests strung out over weeks, then months--the wrong tests for the true condition. I get lots of tests but no actual care.

This is a common "stalling game" used on all injured like this: the doctors order the wrong tests, tell us nothing was found, and go on to the next wrong test. Meanwhile, our one-month window-of-opportunity for a proper repair evaporates. After that happens, nothing CAN be done to save us and we are set onto a death spiral that cannot be reversed.

Later, while researching at the hospital medical library, I found two articles my surgeon co-authored in two major medical journals pertaining to this surgery, where he described in detail the symptoms of my injury and its true cause. He also stated how dangerous this new surgery is and how too many people are dying of doctor-caused injuries. (The printed material he was giving to patients said the exact opposite!) He states that combining laser and laparoscopy is dangerous because both procedures are too new. One of the articles details how student/trainees are sneaked in to perform these surgeries and goes so far as to say where everyone is expected to stand around the operating table!

So, he knew exactly what was wrong with me and lied, deliberately withheld timely intervention and let me erode past the point of no return: a bile duct injury has a one-month window-of-opportunity for repair. If not repaired early and well, by a specialist, permanent and progressive liver damage sets in. Worse is that I never needed the surgery in the first place. Much worse is that I had no way of knowing that I would not be getting the proper, timely response in case of injury I was promised, in writing, in the printed literature I was given before the operation; the medical syndicate had no intention whatsoever of providing it. What I got instead is so sociopathically inhumane it hardly seems possible in this day and age:

Unknown to me at that time, I was placed on a "kill list" and am not allowed to have any intervention beyond symptomatic relief: the teaching hospital got what they wanted from me and they are finished; their student injured me and I was to be killed as fast and as cheaply as possible to save money. In spite of their best efforts, I did not die like many of the other injury victims did at the dirty hands of the medical syndicate.

Bile duct injuries are very expensive to treat properly. Thousands of us were created. The cost of proper aftercare would have sunk every health insurer who offered a proper response.

When the health insurance company owns the teaching hospital, it is a particularly deadly combination: they control everything, including the medical record. I was very unfortunate to have a health insurer who also owns the teaching hospital; they used me to train the students they contracted with the government to train for pay and after I was injured, wanted me dead fast and cheap to save money.

My surgeon refered me to other doctors on the health plan's list, who were very abusive and tried to emotionally batter me into despair; I was so sick I felt like I was about to die--and I was dying. A biliary abcess ruptured and spilled; the infection seeded all over and I lived through it somehow, a miracle. But it ruined my heart and kidneys, etcetera and I still suffer miserably from the damage.

Nine months after my botched gallbladder surgery my surgeon offered a second surgery, said he would go in and just take a look around and try to see if he could determine what was going wrong, pretending he didn't already know. I refused that surgery offer in May of 1992 while hospitalized, had long lost what little bit of trust I had left in my surgeon and his cohorts and wanted to try to find another surgeon to do it instead: I was afraid of him.

Nobody would accept me as a patient. I did not understand the rules of that "game" at the time: once injured nobody else is allowed to touch a surgeon's injury victim unless specifically referred. One of his cohorts, a gastroenterologist who is one of the local "special" doctors, and one of the most abusive I have come across, told me that I HAD to let my original surgeon perform this second surgery and no one else---I was told I had no say in the matter and it was going to be my original surgeon or nobody at all.

Defeated, and much sicker than the month before when it was offered the first time, I returned to my surgeon and allowed him to operate a second time on June 12, 1992. He removed a portion of my small intestine without discussing it with me first; there was no informed consent. The recovery room nurse told me I had "just had some very extensive surgery" but would not tell me what it was, said to ask my surgeon. He would not tell me either; to this day I do not know what he did except that he removed some small intestine without my permission.

A nurse at my health insurer said he did it to make another quicky "patch" to replace the first one that failed that was created when a bile duct was severed at the gallbladder surgery.

Those days are so horrible I can barely stand to think about all of the abuse I was put through so I will not detail it here; it is just too painful. I can hardly bear to review the medical records from that terrible time; it brings back too many bad memories and I almost crumble from the horror of what I was exposed to then.

Later, I find out the doctors I was referred to are part of a "special" set of carefully selected abusers/bullies who have been given the job of lying to and battering injury victims in order to break them down and silence them. These particular doctors have been selected for this dirty-work because they have perverse personality defects that thrive on inflicting pain on others; I met some very nasty characters since my injury: the most reliably heartless sociopaths walking the earth.

In my years of experience as a patient's-rights activist I have learned each community has a set of these "special" doctors and all injury victims are referred to them exclusively.

In 1993, I placed an ad in the local newspaper hoping to find other injury victims and hundreds poured out (and are still pouring out steadily nine years later); I learned they had all been sent to the same "special" doctors I had been referred to and they had all been abused the exact same ways I had been abused! Word for word, like these doctors were reading from one script.

The other injury victims and I started researching this issue together and between us we dug up some shocking/horrifying truths. There is too much to go into here but I will highlight some of the most significant:

An honest surgeon told us that we never needed our gallbladders out in the first place, that we were all INFECTED instead, that it was done to the community deliberately in order to jack up the number of people presenting for opportunity to refer them to the teaching hospital's student training programs for the new gallbladder surgery because there just wasn't enough valid gallstone cases to go around. This was done all over the country.

The infecting organisms selected for dispersal were the kind with miserable stomach symptoms severe enough to MIMIC gallbladder attacks and send people begging for relief from the medical syndicate. A targeted victim group was skimmed off from the whole and sent to be used up in the student training mills.

I fit one of the targeted populations: housewife. That is why I was selected for use in surgery training. The elderly retired were first choice and still are.

My son and husband, although they had the same symptoms as me, did not fit the "expendable" profile the perpetrators were looking for to use up first, so my son was completely ignored and my husband was offered other care.

One of my uncles was ignored but his wife was offered gallbladder surgery.

Five people in my family were offered gallbladder surgery; all are injured and ill. I was the first.

Another honest surgeon told us that this method of the medical syndicate deliberately infecting the public and skimming off a targeted population for use as "training material" for students is standard and routine, was used to test a new laparoscopic GERD surgery regardless of the fact the GERD symptoms are actually caused by the same infecting organisms released to sicken the public in the first place! (Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication)

No wonder the criminal elite will not touch common tap water and uses bottled water instead; they won't touch the stuff!

My father used to work for the state of Ohio and one of his jobs was to change the filters in the water filtering system in the basement of the office building where he worked: the common city tap water was passed through five huge filters before the state officials working there would dare to use it to wash their hands or flush toilets!

The government offices: city, county, state and federal, spends hundreds of thousands of taxpayer's dollars per quarter buying bottled water for themselves at work and other "potable liquids" because they absolutely will not drink the tap water readily available to them--I know this because I requested the financial reports from the budget offices. Shocking! You only have to visit their offices to see the bottled water coolers installed within. The hospital administrative areas have bottled water coolers also; they know enough not to drink the tap water they fill their patient's water jugs with.

My father, now retired, worked many years in the shipping and receiving warehouse for the state of Ohio; he told me he was responsible for ordering bottled water and shipping it out to the various office buildings.

What does government know about common tap water that we don't?

The AMA acknowledged in a public forum (USA TODAY newspaper, 1998, "Tracking Near-Misses In Medicine" by Robert Davis) that thousands of injury victims were created in the initial training frenzy of laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Where are all of those "thousands" today? Nobody wants to talk about where all these people are now, what has happened to them, what they have been put through, what they have been used for. Nobody wants to mention their deterioration deliberately untreated or their financial enslavement to the medical syndicate---the getting is just too good; nobody profiting from it wants to give up this gold mine.

Country singer Tammy Wynette and actor Carroll O'Connor are victims of bile duct injury gotten at a botched gallbladder surgery; they got repairs to remove the scar tissue buildup on their biliary tracts but it did no good because it was done too late and they deteriorated as expected and died anyway.

There are just a handful of people on the whole planet who know what really happened to Tammy Wynette; a real tight lid was kept on that one.

The introduction and training of laparoscopic cholecystectomy is an atrocity of Buchenwoldian proportions.

Well, there are many kinds of "ovens" to exterminate people with. I was placed in a killing oven of a sort back in August of 1991 and although I was not consumed outright it has been a slow burn since; I will be dead in about a year if what an honest doctor told me pans out true. The lucky ones were the ones killed outright; this is a miserable injury with many consequences all over the body and is progressive. I have been told often that I am "lucky" to still be alive but this is said by people who do not know what this injury is like to live with.

It is also said by people who have not been exposed to the dark underbelly of medicine as I have and do not know the exquisite horror of realizing one day I will certainly hit bottom and will again be at the mercy of the same technopaths who set me up and injured me, deliberately denied proper intervention for the injury they caused, stole as much of my family's money as they could extract before I wised up to them and exited, and viciously abused me in an attempt to silence me forever.

The are angrier now because of the investigative work I have done to expose them...and it has been made abundantly clear they WILL get even. Am I afraid? You bet I am! I'd be a fool not to be afraid because I have already seen what the medical syndicate is capable of and the actual value placed on the lives of others when money has been a motivator. They were vicious and brutal enough when it wasn't personal; I made it personal by defying their explicit orders and working day and night to expose them. My days are numbered; when I hit bottom it isn't going to be pretty.

The modern-day "Mengeles" are not changed one bit; they have just gotten smarter about hiding their crimes and have more sophisticated means to do it.

Life is cheap as long as it belongs to someone else.

Elizabeth Eugenia James-LaBozetta
1562 Picard Road Columbus, Ohio 43227
Central Ohio Patient's-rights Service (C.O.P.S.)
http://home.earthlink.net/~labozetta/
Citizens for Medical Safety

Last Updated July 28, 2004 by Elizabeth Eugenia James-LaBozetta


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