Fraud in the inducement is a legal term used to describe a scenario where one person has tricked or deceived another into a harmful situation they would not have entered into if they had known they would be harmed.
In the example of hysterectomy, a woman is induced into signing a consent form under the guise that she needs the surgery, there are no alternatives to hysterectomy, and she may die without it. But that is rarely the case. She is also induced into signing the consent form by being told she will be “better than ever after the surgery,” or that she will be a “new woman.” She is then drugged, strapped to a table, and her female organs are removed, because of erroneous information supplied by the inducers.
No woman is unharmed or undamaged by the removal of her female organs, but that is really not the point. The point is, women who are provided with the information required for informed consent, such as the information provided in the HERS video “Female Anatomy: the Functions of the Female Organs,” decide against undergoing hysterectomy.
As we make clear in our book The H Word: What gynecology doesn’t want you to know about 100 years of hysterectomy and female castration in America, whether the surgery might be one of the 2% that are lifesaving or not is irrelevant. It’s every woman’s right to know the information that is requisite to informed consent prior to being asked to sign a hysterectomy consent form, whether she has a mere annoyance or a true health problem.
Fraud in the inducement for hysterectomy requires proof that 1) a false statement of material fact was made, 2) the doctor/hospital knew or should have known the material fact was false, 3) the false statement induced the woman into signing the consent form, and 4) the hysterectomy caused injury to the woman who relied on the misrepresentation as fact.
False statements of material fact on medical websites are more the standard than the exception. A survey of doctor, government health agency, and hospital websites demonstrates that not only do doctors remove sex organs without providing the information required for informed consent, the information they do provide is often erroneous and unsupported by anatomical fact, as was confirmed on the blog post, “Hysterectomy and Female Castration: the Enablers Part II.” Most of the false statements are authored by doctors and hospitals that claim to be sources of medical expertise, who should know that the information they publish runs contrary to anatomical fact. Women are encouraged to use this information to make a decision about hysterectomy. The adverse effects then cause injury to more than 621,000 women in the U.S. each year.
For more on this subject, see the article “Sanctioned Violence Against Women,” published in The Women’s International Perspective (The Wip).
We are interested to hear how your experience with hysterectomy fits the four requirements above for fraud in the inducement. Would you take part in a class action lawsuit against doctors and “patient education” institutions that supplied the erroneous information used to induce you to sign a hysterectomy consent form?
Please be brief in your comments about how your experience fits the four legal requirements of fraud in the inducement.