Deceiving a physician, then suing him


In what’s believed to be the first lawsuit of its kind, a Texas patient who presented a fake ID and the patient’s father were allowed to go forward with a civil lawsuit against a physician who gave the girl an abortion without contacting her parents.

Cherise Mosley Hughes first came into the clinic where Houston general practice physician Douglas Karpen, DO, works in the summer of 2000. She didn’t have an ID, so the office staff turned her away, court records said. She later returned with an ID that said she was 18. It was not government-issued but did contain a birth date and Social Security number.

Dr. Karpen said he didn’t contact Mosley Hughes’ parents because he had no reason to believe the girl was younger than 18.

Mosley Hughes received the abortion. In reality, her 18th birthday was still seven weeks away.

Now married and a mother of two, Mosley Hughes, along with her father, sued Dr. Karpen and the Aaron Women’s Medical Center in Houston. They argued that the ID was obviously fake and that the doctor should have seen through it.

So what we have here is a patient who used a fake ID to deceive a physician to perform an abortion, then turning around and suing him later for performing the abortion. I think in today’s medical environment, one cannot be too careful. It is recommended that physicians protect themselves by insisting on government-issued identification cards. If anything looks suspicious, additional steps to verify the age can be done by asking for a birth certificate.

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