Surgery
Man uses smartphone to record doctors' defamatory comments during his colonoscopy and sues team for £319k.Getty Images

A man has sued a surgical team of doctors for $500,000 (£320,000) after recording them mocking him during an operation.

The man, who is believed to be from Vienna, was being operated for colonoscopy in Reston, Virginia, when he pressed the record button on his smartphone to be able to get a gist of the doctors' communication during the procedure.

After being given anaesthesia, the man heard the anaesthesiologist, Tiffany M Ingham, 42, talking to him saying: "After five minutes of talking to you in pre-op... I wanted to punch you in the face and man you up a little bit."

The anaesthesiologist was next instructed by a medical assistant of a rash observed on the patient's body to which he was recorded as responding, reported The Washington Post: "Some syphilis on your arm or something. It's probably tuberculosis in the penis, so you'll be all right."

A Fairfax County jury ordered the anaesthesiologist to pay the man $100,000 for defamation, $200,000 (£127,352) for medical malpractice and $200,000 in punitive damages after a three-day trial.

The gastroenterologist, Soloman Shah, 48, reportedly also made some odd remarks like, "as long as it's not Ebola, you're okay," however the case against Shah was dismissed.

The anaesthesiologist was accused not only of the defamatory comments but also of putting a false diagnosis on the patient's chart, claiming he has haemorrhoids, when he did not.

Meanwhile, Kathryn E McGoldrick, the former president of the Academy of Anaesthesiology, said: "These types of conversations... are not only offensive but frankly stupid, because we can never be certain that our patients are asleep and wouldn't have recall."