There’s a reason surgeons wear masks and gloves. The last thing you want is to get crap in someone’s body. That is unless you are one of the two UC Davis Medical Center neurosurgeons who very purposely introduced their patients’ brains to poop bacteria. It was a real shit-for-brains way of trying to help.
Horrible as it sounds, the incident wasn’t actually malicious, just questionably ethical and poorly executed. The three patients in question all had end stage glioblastoma multiforme, which basically means “aggressive, fatal brain tumours”. According to documentation, the purposeful infection was supposed to “create a wound infection that would attack tumour cells.” It didn’t, and all three patients eventually died due to complications.
Believe it or not, putting poop bacteria in people’s brains wasn’t the only issue here. The surgeons who put poop bacteria in people’s brains also got in trouble for:
- Getting permission from a supervisor but not explicitly from the people getting poop bacteria put in their brains
- Failing to meet normal standards of pre and post-operative care (aside from the part about poop bacteria being put in people’s brains)
- Failing to properly label the material (i.e. poop bacteria)
- Failing to warn the hospital pharmacy that they were putting poop bacteria in people’s brains
- And undergoing a procedure that hasn’t been cleared by the USDA (yeah, the poop thing again)
The incident came to light when the California State Department of Public Health’s Center for Healthcare Quality announced a list of hospitals that are receiving administrative penalties under the Health and Safety Code.
Ultimately the surgeons did have their supervisor’s permission to attempt the procedure and the infections were the intended result, not caused by any accident, which helps to soften the penal blow. This is only UC Davis Medical Center’s first administrative penalty so it will be fined $US50,000.