My question involves malpractice in the state of: California
I received a quote for a cosmetic procedure from a plastic surgeon in a consultation. In that appointment, I signed a document acknowledging all surgical procedures are non-refundable. Six months later, I chose to go ahead with the procedure and paid a $3500 deposit to reserve a surgery date. Due to covid, my date was canceled. The surgical facility re-opened (somewhat unexpectedly) and I was scheduled for the procedure SIX DAYS prior to the date of the operation. I hastily paid the remaining balance (about $12,000) for the surgery in full in fear that my surgery date would be given to someone else.
I received the informed consent documents a few days later, about 3 days prior to the operation. Upon reading them, I realized there were a myriad of risks that had not been shared with me in any of my prior communications with the surgeon-- namely that the procedure I was to undergo is THE MOST LETHAL cosmetic procedure in the United States by total fatalities and is BANNED in the United Kingdom due to the government's belief that the surgery is too risky to be performed safely. When I asked the doctor about risks in prior appointments, he only discussed the risk of infection.
Mere hours after the documents were sent over, I promptly canceled the surgery and requested a refund. Had I been given that information at any point earlier in the process, I would have NEVER paid a deposit, let alone the full amount. The surgical center is arguing that I signed a document 6 months ago acknowledging procedures are non-refundable, so they are keeping my money despite the procedure not being performed. Is there any way to get my money back?
It seems incredibly unethical that a surgeon would accept payment 6 days prior to a serious operation without properly informing the patient of the remarkably high risk of fatality. Then, once the patient has paid in full, the full suite of risks are finally shared with them. My doctor has given me the option to re-book the surgery at a later date but is refusing a refund. Him and his surgical assistant seem to be pressuring me to carry out the surgery, despite their knowledge that I am in no way comfortable accepting that level of risk for a cosmetic procedure. Is this ethical?