A Botched Surgery Blamed on COVID-19

We put our safety in the hands of medical providers every day. We trust that our medications will make us feel better, our broken bones will be repaired, and our loved ones will be well cared for. 

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case because some medical providers will go to any lengths to shield themselves from taking responsibility for their actions. For Natalie Avilez and her family, trusting a surgeon to operate on her spine led to a careless error. But instead of taking responsibility, her doctor blamed the pandemic. 

In June 2020, Natalie Avilez was scheduled for spinal surgery on her right side to relieve back pain. However, when she woke up, she discovered her surgeon completed the surgery on the wrong side of her back and in the wrong place on her spine. 

Avilez pursued legal charges for medical negligence, but her doctor is claiming that he doesn’t have any liability due to COVID-19 and CDC protocols in place at the hospital. But Avilez’s surgery and back pain had nothing to do with COVID-19. 

This is exactly what is wrong about SB 51 & 42. If passed, nursing homes and medical providers can use COVID-19 as an excuse to not provide adequate care or not be held accountable for negligence, shoddy care, or abuse. 

Missourians need to be able to hold medical providers accountable for their actions. Tell the Missouri Legislature to vote NO on SB 51 & 42.