Is a pet owner liable for charges regarding proceduresthat they did not give consent to being performed?

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Is a pet owner liable for charges regarding proceduresthat they did not give consent to being performed?

We had surgery done on pet and were told that we would have time to decide what procedures we wanted done after exploratory. While pancreas was worked on (24 min) we were called and asked if we had time to call right back. We called back in about 2 min to find out she had started another procedure on the liver that we were not going to have done, so we said to not do anything else after that. However, she still did yet another procedure on an adrenal gland. The end result was the death of our pet 3 days later. Should we be held liable for the bill?

Asked on November 9, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, New Hampshire

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You have every right to dispute the bill.  There will be a dispute between what was medically necessary and what was elective as to how the vet proceeded during the surgery and what was your right to refuse.  That may be a fine line and one that only a Judge will be able to determine.  Even if your were given explicit information as to what was going on, what was medically necessary, the final determination may be the doctor's.  But that does not meant hat you have to pay for what the vet feels was hid or her duty to save the dog's life.  In the end it did not matter anyway but hind sight is always 20/20.  Good luck. 


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