×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Woman Wins Right to Criticize Surgeon on Website

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the tell-it-like-it-is dept.

The Internet 250

Scoopy writes "The website of a cosmetic surgery patient critical of her Sacramento surgeon's work is protected free speech, an appeals court said in an opinion that could have statewide implications. The website contains before and after photographs of 33-year-old Georgette Gilbert, who said the surgery left her with one eyebrow higher than the other and a surprised look permanently affixed to her face. The website was challenged in a defamation suit filed by surgeon Jonathan Sykes, a prominent professor and television commentator on the subject of cosmetic surgery. Although the Sacramento-based 3rd District Court of Appeal only mentions Sykes, the opinion suggests that others who use 'hot topics' of public interest in their advertisements and promotions may shed protections against defamation afforded to ordinary citizens."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

According to courtroom reporters... (5, Funny)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 7 years ago | (#17930788)

...The woman looked very surprised at the verdict.

Re:According to courtroom reporters... (4, Insightful)

magicchex (898936) | more than 7 years ago | (#17930816)

Honestly, she looked fine before the surgery. She claims she was at a low point in her life and so on, and didn't even consider surgery till only 3 weeks before she got it. What do you expect when you make such a serious decision on such short notice while admittedly depressed?

Re:According to courtroom reporters... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17930860)

Honestly, she looked fine before the surgery.

I disagree, I think the best thing the doctor could have given her is a paper bag to put over her head.

It could have been worse. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17930958)

When you consider what could have happened, I think she actually faired quite well.

I had a friend who wanted to get into the pornography business. The only problem was that his penis was rather short, being only 3" in length. He decided on penile elongation surgery. To keep the story short, the surgery didn't go as well as was expected. Instead of having a 3" long penis, it's now just over 1" long, and heavily scarred. He admitted that he can't even masturbate it, and most women just laugh at it when they see his deformed, near-microscopic cock.

So all in all, I think this woman is actually quite well off. Yeah, she doesn't look as good as she did before, but at least her body still appears to function correctly. It's not like her genitals have been destroyed, or anything of that sort.

Re:It could have been worse. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17931688)

Addendum: He now works as an editor at slashdot.

Re:According to courtroom reporters... (5, Insightful)

fredrated (639554) | more than 7 years ago | (#17930988)

"What do you expect when you make such a serious decision on such short notice while admittedly depressed?"

Are you saying that under these circumstances one should expect a shitty job? What, does your depression somehow affect the surgeon?

Re:According to courtroom reporters... (3, Insightful)

magicchex (898936) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931024)

What I mean is that when you're depressed and willing to go under the knife three weeks after you first considered the option, you're obviously not doing the sort of research and thinking that should go into this kind of decision. Of course the doctor is still at fault for botching the surgery but she probably could have avoided the entire ordeal if she went about it a little smarter.

Re:According to courtroom reporters... (4, Insightful)

darkonc (47285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931582)

Well, as a general rule, I'd expect that the "director of facial plastic and reconstructive surgery at UC Davis Medical Center." is, at worst, not likely to be a fly-by-night quack.

No matter how good he is, however, a bad result is always a possibility (even if remote). That this woman ended up on the short end of the stick still doesn't affect the validity of her tail -- if only as a warning of what really can go wrong if you're unlucky. I know one woman who is intensely ashamed of her breasts as a result of the side effects of augmentation surgery. She will no longer wear revealing clothing, because it's too likely to expose the scarring.

That's not the kind of information that you're likely to get in the advertising brochures, or the 'reality television' shows that ("incidently") highlight a different plastic surgeon every week.

Re:According to courtroom reporters... (4, Insightful)

balloonhead (589759) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931628)

surgeons say that if you haven't had enough complications, you haven't done enough surgery. They are a statistical thing. The guy clearly is well qualified, and perfectly capable of doing the surgery, technically.

The difficulty here is whether or not she can complain about it - and I would say that she can, but not the way she has done.

Calling it a 'botch' implies that it was done badly. The only way to check this is to look at perhaps the last 1000 patients and see if his results are acceptable or not. Medical confidentiality would mean this would have to be done by internal audit, unless those patients volunteered (which would likely mean all the unhappy customers come forward, skewing results).

Maybe if she could prove he was drunk during the operation or something that would also qualify.

As it is, I think it is fair for her to put up before and after pictures, say who did the surgery, say that she is unhappy, and really do all sorts of free speech things that don't amount to libel.

What if he has the best results of any surgeon, ever, and this is the first 'poor' outcome? That hardly makes it a botch - just her more unlucky.

About 2% of medical negligence cases are found against the doctor. There are often a lot of emotional issues - and she has admitted to these.

I will assume that she also signed an informed consent document which listed all the possible adverse outcomes - such as disfigurement, scarring, infection, death, spontaneous combustion. Maybe she should have weighed up those small but significant risks beforehand a bit more.

Re:According to courtroom reporters... (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931650)

What I mean is that when you're depressed and willing to go under the knife three weeks after you first considered the option, you're obviously not doing the sort of research and thinking that should go into this kind of decision.

That is correct, and quite obvious. However, it is irrelevant to the quality of the surgery. Bringing it up smacks of blaming the victim. If that was not your intention, then you should not have brought it up.

Re:According to courtroom reporters... (3, Funny)

CortoMaltese (828267) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931412)

Honestly, she looked fine before the surgery.
We could just post the pics to hotornot and see which one comes out as the winner. Cutornot?

Re:According to courtroom reporters... (1)

inphorm (604192) | more than 7 years ago | (#17930842)

Lol too funny..

- paul

Re:According to courtroom reporters... (1)

mfh (56) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931046)

...The woman looked very surprised at the verdict.
No that was the lawyer's bill.

Re:According to courtroom reporters... (1)

_7miracles (1060534) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931562)

Doctor cuts her: 1) face 2) wallet, Lawyer cuts 1) her wallet 2) her doctor's wallet Result: Lawyer could be less evil than doctor (sometimes) Kidding...

Re:According to courtroom reporters... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17931180)

She looks like that nut job House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Link to the website (5, Informative)

magicchex (898936) | more than 7 years ago | (#17930794)

Here's a link to the actual website, [mysurgerynightmare.com] http://www.mysurgerynightmare.com/ [mysurgerynightmare.com]

Re:Link to the website (4, Interesting)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17930824)

Sad thing about that website is that she looked pretty good in the 'before' photo [mysurgerynightmare.com] . People should realise the risks of any surgery before they make minor cosmetic changes to their appeaarance.

Also, TFA is reg-required (Do I really want to spend x minutes signing up & agreeing to God know what on a paper I'll never read again?). So, for your reading pleasure the story from metnews [metnews.com] .

Lastly, shouldn't that headline read: Woman's Right to Criticize Surgeon on Website upheld

Re:Link to the website (2, Informative)

magicchex (898936) | more than 7 years ago | (#17930836)

Yeah, she looked fine. I'm not sure what she was thinking making a decision like that, but I'm not really surprised it ended up like it did. Here's another link to the article from the summary, no registration needed this time: http://www.sacbee.com/101/v-print/story/119961.htm l [sacbee.com] .

Re:Link to the website (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 7 years ago | (#17930936)

Interesting, it didn't ask me to register while I had noscript on -- I just went straight to the content. As soon as I allowed the site to run scripts, it asked me to login and didn't show content.

Re:Link to the website (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931306)

Yup... I can verify that.

Re:Link to the website (1, Insightful)

Feyr (449684) | more than 7 years ago | (#17930938)

she looked like crap before, and she still look like crap after.

her eyebrows don't seem straight in the "before" picture to me and the lighting look like it has been rigged to make her look worse in the "after" picture.

but i still agree with the verdict. she isn't satisfied with the service and is letting the world know. there's nothing defamatory about that.

Re:Link to the website (2, Insightful)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931380)

Not to mention that her eyes are opened wider in the second one to make her look surprised..

Re:Link to the website (1)

omeomi (675045) | more than 7 years ago | (#17930944)

Also, TFA is reg-required (Do I really want to spend x minutes signing up & agreeing to God know what on a paper I'll never read again?). So, for your reading pleasure the story from metnews.

Username: bugmenot Password: bugmenot

Re:Link to the website (3, Interesting)

chimpo13 (471212) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931260)

Lastly, shouldn't that headline read: Woman's Right to Criticize Surgeon on Website upheld

The Sacramento Bee has the headline, "Woman wins right to attack her plastic surgeon on the Web".

Attack? What the hell?

Re:Link to the website (5, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931410)

People should realise the risks of any surgery before they make minor cosmetic changes to their appeaarance.
Well it's going to be pretty hard to learn about the risks if everybody with a complaint gets muzzled, now isn't it? This lawsuit has the direct effect of protecting peoples' right to learn about the risks.

But I guess we can't have that, now can we? It might be bad for business.

To be honest I don't even see how this case went to trial. How can we claim to have freedom of speech if you can't even complain about somebody doing a poor job? If she had knowingly made a factually false claim, then I could see it.

Re:Link to the website (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931428)

Oh and by the way, I think it's entirely possible the surgeon did nothing wrong. When you're in a business for malcontents, you can expect to get criticism. (Witness the enormous and IMHO unjustified payout for silicone breast implants). But let me be the one to decide if somebody is just being whiny. Don't censor them.

Re:Link to the website (0)

jd (1658) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931444)

People should also realize that it's non-trivial stuff. I remember when Esther Ranzen's "That's Life" was on the BBC - more than a few shows involved investigative reporting on malpractice in cosmetic surgery. Then, there was the case in the past few days in the UK of a teen dying from plastic surgery that went wrong. And not that long ago, there was a scandal in the US, where it turns out that basements are being turned into plastic surgery operating theaters for the poor and the illegals.

At this point in time, I don't know what anyone can do. More restrictions will simply create more deaths and injuries at bargain prices. Fewer restrictions will mean the incompetent at higher levels will destroy more lives. The medical profession has no interest in policing itself - no profession ever does. The insurance agencies pony up the cost for the malpractice, and then charge it to the insured, so neither the doctor nor the insurance company suffer any real consequences in the whole deal. The press only give a damn if it brings in advertising, and most advertising is about products and services to make you look good. Guess what isn't going to get reported on in any depth. "Just a few bad apples. Nothing to see here."

Nothing meaningful will come of all this, and the whole thing will repeat next year. Don't bother writing a new story on it, when it happens - just dupe the one we've got, but change the links.

the 'after' image has been scaled (1)

fredmosby (545378) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931568)

The second picture looks like it has been narrowed by about 10%. The eyebrow isn't as noticeable if you restore the image to its original aspect ratio.

Re:Link to the website (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931590)

The "after" photo looks like someone subtly stretched it in the Y direction with an image manipulation program.

Re:Link to the website (1)

darkonc (47285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931640)

Sad thing about that website is that she looked pretty good in the 'before' photo. People should realize the risks of any surgery before they make minor cosmetic changes to their appearance.
Executive summary: Plastic surgery decisions are rarely rationality-based
  1. The purpose of PR is to generate a market where non exists (or, in some cases, should> exist). This includes plastic surgery.
  2. I had one girlfriend who everybody around me said that she was very beautiful in just about every way (and I agreed). Nonetheless, she decided to have a nose job. ... this despite complaining that she had to be careful about how she dressed, or she'd run the risk of causing traffic accidents.
  3. There was one study where they asked women what part most needed improvement -- and asked their partner what part they most liked... They were the same, more than 50% of the time.

Re:Link to the website (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17931006)

The photo on the right looks like it has been scaled a bit in the xy-direction, but it doesn't help her looks to scale her back.

Re:Link to the website (1)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931218)

Thanks, that's better.

If anyone wants to submit a story and the only link in the summary is to a login page, make sure you also supply provide a username and password. Thank you.

The Site (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17930800)

http://www.mysurgerynightmare.com [mysurgerynightmare.com]

I suggest (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17930808)

that you eat my nuts

WTF (4, Insightful)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 7 years ago | (#17930818)

Seriously how the hell could this not be construed as free-speech? I mean she is simply providing information on a service she is unhappy about in the hopes of educating others. Jeez I'm getting more and more afraid to open my mouth every day.

Re:WTF (1)

jpardey (569633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17930980)

I am not going to bother to register to read the article, but I believe the key point is that it does not qualify as defamation, which is a crime, free speech or not. For instance, I could start a website with hello.jpg and the caption "WiiVault did this to me!" However, if it was not an obvious parody, or not true, you could sue me.

Slander and libel are very odd. I forget, but somehow there is a burden on the defendant to prove that the offending statement was true, rather than for the plaintiff to prove that the offending statement was false. Or something like that. My memory of law 12 is not that clear.

Re:WTF (3, Insightful)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931060)

Yeah I got the jist of it too and I think you are right on. The problem for me is that her site, which I read all of, is very respectfull and straight foreward. This guy has had TONS of lawsuits against him for malpractice and yet she doesn't ever personally attack him or suggest that he is an all around bag guy or doctor. Obviously there is the suggestion but she avoids the explicit. I hate it when people abuse the legal system especially to cover their own ass. Its even more offensive when they have literally destroyed someones life and taken all their money. I would never get a surgery like this myself but clearly patents should be able to share whatever information they want as long as it is not threatening or straight out false. I'm sure you agree but I wanted to clarify my point.

Re:WTF (1)

jpardey (569633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931178)

Oh yes, frivolous lawsuits are never good. Those with the resources are able to beat those without into submission. I should have paid more attention to the page itself, but still... there needs to be a tort law system of some kind, but perhaps one that is not entirely run by lawyers... good luck on that ever happening without people doing something about it.

Re:WTF (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931248)

we have seen this before. Here is a link to it [slashdot.org]

free registration (2, Informative)

zCyl (14362) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931518)

slashdot/slashdot was already registered and working by the time I got there.

Re:WTF (2, Insightful)

pissedoffamerican (1002647) | more than 7 years ago | (#17930982)

Don't get scared, get angry.

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17931084)

We'll at least no one is surprised, except...

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17931008)

I thought the same thing when reading the summary (I can't read he article itself)... people have the right to be critical, and to suggest that "hot topics of public interest" is needed to "shed protections" is dangerous to the concept of protected free speech.

Re:WTF (5, Informative)

slamb (119285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931598)

Seriously how the hell could this not be construed as free-speech? I mean she is simply providing information on a service she is unhappy about in the hopes of educating others. Jeez I'm getting more and more afraid to open my mouth every day.
According to the metnews story [metnews.com] , the court decided (and the appeals court did not dispute) that the information she is providing is not true. Among other things, her "after" picture was also after four other surgeries from different doctors. So the information was false and damaging. The appeals court said that in this circumstance, it can't be considered defamatory unless the doctor proved her intent was malicious, and he hadn't done that. Apparently the woman's just crazy...

For those who do not want to register (5, Informative)

afaik_ianal (918433) | more than 7 years ago | (#17930822)

The Web site of a cosmetic surgery patient critical of her Sacramento surgeon's work is protected free speech, an appeals court said in an opinion that could have statewide implications.

The Web site, www.mysurgerynightmare.com, contains before and after photographs of 33-year-old Georgette Gilbert who said the surgery left her with one eyebrow higher than the other and a surprised look permanently affixed to her face.

The Web site was challenged in a defamation suit filed by surgeon Jonathan Sykes, a prominent professor and television commentator on the subject of cosmetic surgery.

Although the Sacramento-based 3rd District Court of Appeal only mentions Sykes, the opinion suggests that others who use "hot topics" of public interest in their advertisements and promotions may shed protections against defamation afforded to ordinary citizens.

"The decision makes it easier for professionals to get defamed and unable to defend themselves," said Daniel L. Baxter, Sykes's lawyer.

First Amendment attorney Charity Kenyon agrees that the decision's reasoning could be applied to lawyers, optometrists, Realtors and other professionals.

"The opinion is good protection for consumers who want to express opinions about services they receive, but professionals who promote themselves may have this burden if they think they have been defamed," Kenyon said.

The court decision, which was released Jan. 26, may be binding on all California counties if it's not overturned by the state Supreme Court. According to the 32-page opinion, which can be viewed here, Sykes immersed himself so much in the public debate over the merits of cosmetic surgery that he became a public figure in the subject.

Sykes, a UC Davis Medical Center professor, is also an author and has written numerous articles that have appeared in medical journals and beauty magazines. He has appeared on local television shows "touting the virtues" of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, the decision said.

"In our youth and celebrity worshipping culture, the benefits and risks of plastic surgery are a hot topic. The number of people, especially women, who have had minimally invasive cosmetic surgery has grown exponentially in the past several years," said the opinion, written by Justice M. Kathleen Butz.

"Sykes asserts that statements on the Web site do not contribute to the public debate because they only concern Gilbert's interactions with him. He is wrong," said Butz, who was joined in the opinion with justices Ronald B. Robie and Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye.

Baxter said that several statements and representations Gilbert made on her Web site were not true or were misleading.

Baxter cited, for example, the statement Gilbert makes with her before and after photos: "I was told by my doctor that this was a good result - that I looked better after his surgery - what do you think?" Baxter said that when Sykes saw Gilbert, about 2 1/2 months after the surgery, he indicated that she was improving but "never made any indication relative to that picture, or how she was doing five months out."

Gilbert's online comments also make it sound as if she was an unwitting patient who was pushed into plastic surgery, Baxter said. In fact, he said, she "directed (Sykes) to be very aggressive in carrying out the procedures."

Gilbert's lawyer, William L. Brelsford, said true statements and personal opinions are not libelous under the Constitution's First Amendment. The decision, he said, is applying an old law to a new mode of communication.

"Protected public debate is being extended to the Internet," Brelsford said.

Gilbert posted her Web site early in 2005, a year after she filed a medical malpractice suit against Sykes. On the site, she offers advice about finding the "right" surgeon so that others can benefit from her "misfortune."

She has a contact page where readers can share their experiences.

Sykes counter-sued Gilbert claiming he was defamed, suffered emotional distress and lost business because of the Website.

In defense, Gilbert tried to get Sacramento Superior Court Judge Thomas M. Cecil to toss Sykes's suit out of court, but Cecil declined, saying he was persuaded by the physician's arguments.

The decision of the 3rd District Court overturns Cecil's ruling, leaving Sykes no chance of suing for defamation unless he gets the appellate court to reconsider, or appeal the decision and win before the state Supreme Court.

"Once he places himself in the spotlight on a topic of public interest, his private words and conduct relating to that topic become fair game," the justices wrote.
... or, you could of course get bugmenot from www.bugmenot.com.

mod parent up! (0, Offtopic)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931254)

up!

Title Correction: (5, Insightful)

the_REAL_sam (670858) | more than 7 years ago | (#17930832)

You mean to say "woman defends right to criticize surgeon on website." She cannot win what she already had.

Re:Title Correction: (2, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931000)

Umm, they took her right away and she won it back on appeal.

It is in the article, something about her protest being defimation of charector and being told to take it down. And because the surgeon was considered a public figure, he had to prove both that her speach was wrong and that she intended malice in her statments. Before the appeal, I guess he wasn't considered a public figure and neither had to be proven.

Right to Criticize Surgeon on Website (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17930834)

When asked for comment, Dr Jonathan Sykes said, "If I had to do it over again, I would have chopped off her hands".

Shhh (0, Offtopic)

The Vaxorcist (918432) | more than 7 years ago | (#17930856)

Looking permanently surprised is going to be a new fad! Get it while the going's good.

its only defamation (1)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 7 years ago | (#17930864)

libel
2 a : a written or oral defamatory statement or representation that conveys an unjustly unfavorable impression

You botch someone's face, they post about it, that's not unjust. This seems like a no-brainer. This was only taken to court because someone thought they could play the system.

Re:its only defamation (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931200)

This was only taken to court because someone thought they could play the system.
lol, Not only did they think it, they did. The news here is that she got it over turned, hence the "won right to critisize surgeon", she had it taken away at one time.

Libel isn't oral. (1)

It's a thing (968713) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931556)

"...or oral defamatory..."

That would be slander. Libel is only written or pictoral.

WTF was she thinking? (1)

SgtXaos (157101) | more than 7 years ago | (#17930900)

I mean she looked pretty good before she hired someone to cut her up.

Also, she probably should have done the malpractice research BEFORE the appointment.

Wow. Just wow.

Re:WTF was she thinking? (2, Funny)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931158)

Wow, if you told her that she would probably look at you very ... surprised...!

Re:WTF was she thinking? (1)

PopeOptimusPrime (875888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931624)

She asked for an "endoscopic browlift" and sues for malpractice because her eyebrows are now unnaturally high... I love America.

Helping a little (2)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#17930908)

In the picture on her website, I think looks like she might be helping the surprised look a little. The diffeence in the amount of her eyes showing between the two pictures of the before and after.

Don't be fooled by it, It could be because of the same surgury that raised her eyebrows. But I wouldn't know.

I sure would like to read the story but the link goes to some registration page. I'm not about to give any information do if someone has another link, it would be apriciated.

BTW, isn't she the one who got arested or something a while back for her page?

Re:Helping a little (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17931168)

You're absolutely right, you can see white on the after photos above her pupils.. she's exaggerating it.

And even then the effect is fairly minor. Seriously I thought her eyebrow was higher before. Nor was it atall detracting.

Move along, nothing to see here... (0, Troll)

Eggplant62 (120514) | more than 7 years ago | (#17930918)

Just another dumbass who made a snap decision and had a bad outcome. Move along.

Re:Move along, nothing to see here... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931102)

hey now....lol

Seriously, this is a little more. She got the surgery, saw the results, made website about it and sued. He saw the website, claimed it was slander and liable, took it to court, she countered, it was dropped on some anti slapp stuf that attempts to limit the endless cycle or lawsuite to counter someone elses. The court said no, ordered her to drop the suite. she ended up losing the ability to keep the site up. and was order to pay or somethign

Oh yea, some how the court who did this was from another distric.

An apeals court reviewed it, found the previous court errored and she got her right to protest back./

Re:Move along, nothing to see here... (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931156)

Yeah, the only thing interesting about it, is yet further proof that the one sure fire way to gain publicity for a web site, is to let some idiot with money and an over inflated ego sue you to try and shut it down.

I bet that's one doctor that wishes he had never entered the courtroom.

"win?" (0, Redundant)

disturbedite (979015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17930932)

if the verdict was in her favor, then i believe the headline is inaccurate. she didn't "win" the right, it was upheld.

Why surgery in the first place? (4, Insightful)

gnurfed (1051140) | more than 7 years ago | (#17930934)

Slightly off topic, but what's really sad in this story is that the woman was pretty BEFORE the surgery. So there was really no reason for her to go under the knife in the first place. We live in a scary world where people strive to look unnatural (though this woman probably didn't get the unnatural looks she wanted).

That said, it's great that we have plastic surgery for patients with actual disfigurements.

Re:Why surgery in the first place? (2, Insightful)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931112)

On her site she answers your question with the most resonable and honost response I can imagine. She was feeling old being 30+ and unmarried and she had just split with a long-term boyfriend. She had know the doctor for 4 years and he had a respected title. I agree it was stupid but in our culture a woman's youthfull appearence is highly prized. Its really sad that she made this choice, but she should not be blamed for the horrible result. I just applaud her courage to show those pictures and take the embrassment in the hope of educating others.

Re:Why surgery in the first place? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17931266)

Taking plastic surgery when not feeling that one meets society's standards for beauty is becoming relatively socially acceptable, though.

I agree that there's no reason to blame the woman for making a bad decision while feeling down, but it's still possible to feel unease at the general trend which made her particular bad choice possible.

What's the big deal... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17930946)

"The doctor's thermometer is itty-bitty small!"

At least she is prepared... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17930960)

At least she is prepared for any upcoming surprise now.

Silly, silly girl (4, Insightful)

BigBadRich (849128) | more than 7 years ago | (#17930962)

It's amazing what people with low self-esteem will do to themselves. In this case she starts out (in my opinion) quite a gorgeous woman, and finishes looking like a cross between Cher and Marilyn manson (photos) [mysurgerynightmare.com] .

You'd think Michael Jackson would be enough of a deterrent for most people, but I guess you can never underestimate the power of low self-esteem.

Re:Silly, silly girl (1)

Sargeant Slaughter (678631) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931446)

Gorgeous? I dunno about that, but I guess its a mater of opinion...

Regardless, I wish she had given up more photos. The lighting in the "after" photo was really bad and it looks like she is trying to make it look worse than it really is...

IMHO She looks fine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17930984)

The only reason she looks surprised is because her eyes are open so wide. You hardly notice the raised eyebrow unless you were actually looking for it. And I would swear after looking at the before & after shots, that her left eyebrow was slightly higher than her right BEFORE she had the surgery anyway.

Re:IMHO She looks fine. (2, Informative)

darkonc (47285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931716)

The only reason she looks surprised is because her eyes are open so wide.
That's precisely the effect that she seems to be complaining about. Apparently, it's a side-effect of the surgery, and not something that she's feigning.

Familiar? (1)

entgod (998805) | more than 7 years ago | (#17930998)

Am I the only one finding resemblance to the article of a hardware review site not getting any more alienware hardware because their reviews weren't flattering enough?

Re:Familiar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17931100)

Yes, you stupid faggot.

Then, the bill came... (1)

gavink42 (1000674) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931056)

Her permanent look of surprise might also have happened after she saw the bill. Yikes!

Mom always said "don't make that face, it'll stick that way!" Maybe she was right!

Tags (1)

Kelz (611260) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931128)

What a "shocking" story.

password (1)

thisNameNotTaken (952374) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931132)

Could you leave a user name and password?

Patient's privacy? (4, Interesting)

MDMurphy (208495) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931148)

The part I've wanted to see discussed are the doctors rights to publicly rebut a site that complains about them. Under strict medical privacy laws it's not like a doctor could ( or should ) reveal medical details or photos in a public forum. So if a patient complains and sets up a web site, does that absolve the doctor in question from any requirements for maintaing confidentiality? When I heard about this and other similar sites, that was one of my first questions. If not, from a public opinion point of view they're screwed.

I firmly believe that a patient should have the right to critisize their doctor, but I also believe the doctors should have the ablitly to defend themselves. I'd have liked to have seen part of a ruling that said they were no longer required to keep confidentiality for that particular patient.

If the doctor is not in a position to put up a web site, with pictures and inimate details of a patient who's gone public, then that person should be refrained from going public. Since that's pretty hard to enforce retroactively the only recourse seems to view the patient's public proclamations as relinquishing all privacy rights with respect to the doctor or hospital involved.

Re:Patient's privacy? (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931256)

The fact that a patient publicly announces reviews about a Doctor does NOT absolve the doctor from maintaining confidentiality about the patient.

Protection of Free Speech is available to citizens as a whole. However confidentiality agreements between two parties that prevent disclosure of certain (Not all) facts overrules the free speech right, because the former is a right granted under the constitution, while the latter is a valid contract.

It is the same reason why you are asked to sign confidential non-disclosure agreements for some jobs. These agreements are specific for a certain purpose and that purpose is narrow.
If it was anymore broader, like preventing you ever from writing a letter to the editor about unrelated stuff, they are struck down by courts as they infringe free speech.

In a doctor's case, the doctor took a confidential agreement oath when he/she became a doctor. That oath cannot be released unilaterally by the doctor, just because one of the patients is criticizing.
And in some states, even if the patient signs a waiver of confidentiality, it still is illegal to release a patient's info.

Re:Patient's privacy? (1)

MDMurphy (208495) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931358)

Yes, this is the case, and it's an important inequity. But it would not be a "unilateral" release of information by the doctor if it was initiated by the patient.

A patient can give a doctor permission to release their medical information. In some cases public disclosure and discussion should be considered a release. Just saying "I have cancer" would not be enough, but there there should be a point where the situation is no longer considered private due to the patient's own disclosure.

Re:Patient's privacy? (1)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931474)

It's good in theory, but in practice, it's not so simple. For example, a solicitor (lawyer) like a trustee, is obligated to put the good of his client above his own good in his business transactions.

I think the same thing applies here (the fiduciary duty); reference, Breen v Williams. Actually, the opposite of what I'm saying is true there, but it references other jurisdictions where the fiduciary duty is active and why.

An interesting read, and relevant, in any case.

Re:Patient's privacy? (1)

darkonc (47285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931702)

Doctor confidentiality is not a one-way street. The profession also uses it to hide complaints from the public. The result is that a doctor with serious complaints against him/her can sometimes move to another state and start with a 'clean slate'. It is very rare that complaints to a medical board are made public (similarly for Lawyers, etc.).

What?..... (1)

IHC Navistar (967161) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931244)

She looked alot better before the surgery than after. She looks much more attractive before the surgery.

Remember, the Doc can always say:

"She asked for it."

People who seek cosmetic surgery and *honestly* don't need it should be aware that they might not be happy with the outcome. Look, if you think need cosmetic surgery in the first place, then you should be spending your money on a therapist or counselor, NOT surgery. The only people who should be having cosmetic surgery are people who were either born with birth defects or are disfigured as the result of an accident.

Therefore, if you weren't disfigure in an accident or born with a birth defect or some kind of disfigurement, then I really don't feel sorry for you if you don't like the way you turned out.

I have only one question to ask these idiotic people who get cosmetic surgery simply for vanity and then complain: "Did you learn a lesson?"

ka-ching$ (2, Funny)

binarybum (468664) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931298)

her website will probably just shift the surgeon into a whole new money-making demographic - men badgered by their wives for not expressing enough interest in whatever it is they're talking about. With eyebrows like that, an occasional tilt of the head away from the football game (or WOW game here I suppose) gives the illusion of intense interest. You're never going to get the "Are you even listening to me?!" line with a brow like this-> http://www.mysurgerynightmare.com/images/ggbae_(2) .jpg [mysurgerynightmare.com]

The surgeon may have a point... (5, Insightful)

Excelcia (906188) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931322)

I've visited the web site in question [mysurgerynightmare.com] , and I believe the surgeon has a point. It looks like the woman is using some of the same techniques shady businesses use to make before/after photos look different, but in reverse. These are:

- One photo being done in a natural setting, one artificial.
- One photo with a happy expression, one without
- One photo with good lighting, one with very stark.
- One photo with makeup, one without

Some of this is related, but look. She insists one eyebrow is higher than the other and she is left with a permanent "surpised" look. This is quite possible, the eyebrow position can give that look, but raising the eyebrows would not have a significant effect on how wide her eye lids are open. Notice in the second photo she exadgerates her "surpised" look by opening her eyes as wide as possible. Add to that the camera in the before photo is slightly above her, and the angle difference adds to the effect. She is smiling in the first photo, which tends to close the eyelids a little and adjusts the eyebrow position.

The makeup makes quite a difference to shading, and the after photo is in much more stark contrast, which elimates facial details.

Also remember that the woman has filed a malpractice suit and stands to gain financially from seeming to look badly now.

However the court ruled, I think the surgeon had a point.

I'm not so sure on this one (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931438)

I see what you mean and in alot of cases I might agree but if you check out the site this guy has been sued like 10 times in the last 7 years or so... Thats not a good sign. Plus what is point of putting ones self online to be mocked when there is no reason? Surely she could have simply shown the judge before and after pictures and avoided the embarassment.

Re:I'm not so sure on this one (2, Interesting)

Excelcia (906188) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931512)

She put up the web site with the "terrible" photos because she wants money from the surgeon. She puts up a web site saying the surgeon is a hack. She hopes the sugeon will settle out of court and give her money. The deal being, he pays her off and the web site goes away. So it is in her best interest to make herself look as trashed over as she can. The surgeon looks at the web site and instantly can see what she is doing. He knows her looks are not accurately being depicted by the photos she posted, so he countersues to get the web site taken down. Unfortunately he lost that part. No, the web site is part of the gun at the surgeon's head. It's a very smart move. It is attacking his prospects for future clients, and pressures him to settle.

How many previous malpractice suits there are are irelevent to whether or not there was malpractice in this case. First of all, her statement that there may be many more cases that were settled out of court, is designed to lead you to make the conclusion there probably have been many more cases. This is actually almost certainly false. Generally, any time you are going to request money you issue the statement of claim to the courts at the very beginning, which starts a law suit. Even cases that are settled out of court, almost 100% of the time, they have a case number. This is done to protect the "plaintiff" against claims of extortion. If you are trying to get money from someone, and no to get them to stop an activity or perform an action, your lawyer will tell you the first thing to do is issue a statement of claim through the courts.

As for the cited cases, malpractice is, unfortunately, much more common for plastic surgeons than other specialties. We also have no way of knowing if those cases were settled in the plaintifs favour or not. They should not alter your opinion of the surgeon unless you take the time to research them. Having them on her site is just more leverage she is trying to use against the doctor.

No, the more I think of it and look at her site, the more I sympathize with the surgeon.

Re:The surgeon may have a point... (4, Interesting)

grimJester (890090) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931480)

Her face is much longer in the second pic (distance between hairline and chin compared to width of face). The pic could be photoshopped as well. The face in the left pic is 157 pixels from side to side, the right 140. Length goes from 225 to 240. Ratio goes from 1,43 to 1,71. Using the width of my own face as an approximation, it looks like that woman had her face lenghtened by two full inches. If you try to figure out what part(s) of her face could have been stretched this much, the conclusion would pretty much be that the picture has been evenly stretched. I mean, even her forehead is noticabely higher after surgery. Skull extension?

The pic looks fake.

Re:The surgeon may have a point... (1)

Excelcia (906188) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931540)

I thought of this as well when I looked at it - that the aspect ratio had been tinkered with. This is hard to say for sure, though. The photo angles could be quite different. It looks to me the "before" shot was shot from above, and that her head is also tilted a little down to boot. This can do odd things to the apparent aspect ratio. Especially if she is opening her jaw in the second photo to specifically to exadgerate the length of her face. In the first we can see the top row of teeth, but her jaw is probably fully closed which will hide her bottom teeth somewhat behind her top. In the second photo, it's hard to tell for sure, but it looks like I can see both rows of teeth, hinting her jaw is lowered. Look at yourself in the mirror - if you practice, I'm sure you can make your face look longer in this way.

No, I'm not convinced the photo was altered, but I am convinced that she used virtually every other trick in order to make the second one look as bad as possible to forward her claim.

Re:The surgeon may have a point... (1)

HexaByte (817350) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931594)

While the photos are taken in different lighting and from a slightly different angle, I still believe they are representative of what happened.

When doing a face-lift, the doctor simply pulls the skin tighter, which, if pulled too tight, will give you a surprised look.

She actually should be thankful, since in another 10 years, when her skin stretches, she'll still look like she just had a face-lift!

Yes, the doc botched the job, and she didn't really need it to begin with, both points stated previously.

A problem we have these days is that cosmetic surgery has gotten so cheap everyone wants it to look "perfect". I'm reminded of the 18 yr old flat-chested gal on the news who got breast implants. The Dr. gave her the overly big size she requested, then she sued because they were too big and uncomfortable!

Rule # one: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Rule # two: If it ain't broke and you fixed it anyway, don't complain about the results.

All said and done, I agree with her right to post her grievance, but it was a consequence of her own lust for perfection. If I'm on the free speech jury, she has the right to post her greivance. If I'm on the malpractice jury, I'd vote to give her $10. That way both she and the doctor would know that they were idiots.

Jurisdiction? (1)

jellie (949898) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931330)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this ruling only applies to California, since it's a district court. I'm from California and I applaud the ruling, but it doesn't seem like it's going to have a huge impact unless it's a federal (or even international) court. Then again, California does have a lot of doctors...

It's not about winning the lawsuit, necessarily (2, Interesting)

Christoph (17845) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931336)

A defamation lawsuit can server to deter others from speaking up, even if the Plaintiff looses the suit. This strategy is called a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP)...making Free speech (against them) cost money.

As a personal example, photos of mine were published in the local phone book (in a corporate advertisement) without my permission. When the corporation refused to compensate me, I wrote about it on my website. They then sued me for defamation.

Do I have the certificate of copyright registration for my photos? Yes. Then why would they sue? If nothing else, it means public criticism against them will cost you years in court. This case is very simple, I've long since proven the photos they published are mine, yet the case has been in court for 18 months now. See: Vilana Financial [cgstock.com] .

Re:It's not about winning the lawsuit, necessarily (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931520)

I just read your plight against that douche who stole your photos. Man its just sickening what a thieving jerk he is. As a fellow Mpls. resident I will never do biz with him and I really hope that you get your $200,000. Just goes to show how somebody can use the legal system to sap a person dry even when the case is so black and white. Similar to the doctor in this submission. Best of luck to you and keep us informed!

defense? (1)

chrisranjana.com (630682) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931456)

yes sort of like offense is the best form of defense.

The best part of her web page (1)

tectomorph (844828) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931488)

is watching the visitor counter at the bottom of the page spin as the site gets /.'d

Not surprised on how the surgery turned out. (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931516)

Her right eyebrow in the before photo was raised slightly, the surgery appears to have only exaggerated her natural condition. Of course I think she has every right to criticize the results.

Also why does it look like she has an Adam's Apple [mysurgerynightmare.com] ?

What is that ? (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931610)

Is that an Adams Apple in the after photo ?

Really? (4, Funny)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 7 years ago | (#17931622)

...the surgery left her with one eyebrow higher than the other and a surprised look permanently affixed to her face.
Fascinating...

This chick is nuts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17931660)

I don't see much difference between "before" and "after." This [aol.com] is a real cosmetic surgery nightmare.

probably one of vlad's ex-wives (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17931666)

she probably had liposuction to remove the 800+ pounds of fat on her, which is the only kind of creature that vlad is attracted to, plus he prolly beat her with a tire iron, he does that if he gets drunk, so there were prolly scars and bruises to get rid of, a very sad story if you think about it.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?