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Austin, Garfield Park, North Lawndale

A Woman Is Suing A West Side Hospital, Saying It Partially Sterilized Her Without Consent

Physicians at Mount Sinai Hospital were halfway through a tubal ligation when they realized the woman, Lourdes Maldonado, never requested the procedure, according to her lawsuit.

Lourdes Maldonado was partially sterilized without her consent after giving birth at Mount Sinai Hospital.
Provided / Colin Boyle
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NORTH LAWNDALE — A woman has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against a West Side hospital, saying doctors conducted a sterilization procedure on her without her consent last year.

Lourdes Maldonado filed the lawsuit in June against Mount Sinai Hospital in North Lawndale in Cook County Circuit Court.

Doctors conducted the sterilization surgery immediately after Maldonado gave birth via an emergency cesarean section in spring 2021, according to the suit. Maldonado never signed any informed consent form nor verbally agreed to the procedure, according to the lawsuit.

By the time doctors realized they were not supposed to operate on Maldonado, they had already completed a tubal ligation on one of her fallopian tubes, according to the lawsuit. Doctors didn’t check to verify whether Maldonado requested the sterilization until after one of her tubes had already been tied, according to the lawsuit.

Adam Zayed, Maldonado’s attorney, said the procedure was “a violation of the basic principals underlying surgery.”

The surgery turned what was supposed to be one of the happiest days of Maldonado’s life into a nightmare, Zayed said. Maldonado wants to grow her family but now fears she will be unable to conceive, Zayed said.

“There was no planning. There was no attempt to get consent, and the doctor went ahead and did it. The absurdity of that is really quite profound,” Zayed said. “It’s something nobody expects, and for somebody who just had a baby … that is particularly shocking.”

Physicians at Sinai informed Maldonado about the mishap as soon as she woke up from the surgery, Zayed said. However, the hospital’s insurance company has so far been “unwilling to consider justice for Lourdes,” he said.

A spokesperson for Sinai declined to answer questions, citing pending litigation.

“Providing comprehensive, compassionate and safe care to every patient is Sinai Chicago’s highest priority. We have strict procedures and protocols in place to protect the health and welfare of every person who comes through our doors,” spokesperson Olivia Arns said in a statement.

Maldonado is suing so Sinai will “take accountability for the situation” and to ensure the hospital raises its standards so “this does not happen to any other women in Chicago,” Zayed said.

Since the unwanted surgery in May 2021, Maldonado has been unsuccessful in her attempts to get pregnant and grow her family, Zayed said. While it is sometimes possible to undo a tubal ligation, the procedure has risks and is it is not always successful.

Maldonado “is not a person who is feeling great about additional surgeries and procedures on her abdomen,” Zayed said. [She] was shocked and confused about what happened. And that’s part of why she may not be interested in having additional procedures in the future.”

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