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Australia: brain surgeon defends slapping patient after surgery

The high-profile Australian neurosurgeon Charlie Teo admits making an error by going “too far” and damaging a patient, but maintains she was told of the risks.

The doctor on Monday appeared at a medical disciplinary hearing to explain how two women patients ended up with catastrophic brain injuries.

Teo also defended allegations that he acted inappropriately by slapping a patient in an attempt to rouse her after surgery, contrasting it with Will Smith’s notorious slap of Chris Rock at the Academy Awards last year.

“It wakes them up and it wakes them up pretty quickly. And I will continue to do it.”

Charlie Teo tells inquiry he ‘did the wrong thing’ in surgery that left patient in vegetative state

One of the issues the panel of legal and medical experts is considering is whether the women and their families were adequately informed of the risks of surgery.

Both women had terminal brain tumours and had been given from weeks to months to live. They were left in essentially vegetative states after the surgeries and died soon after.

“We were told he could give us more time,” one of the husbands said, according to court documents. “There was never any information about not coming out of it".

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Source: The Guardian, 27 March 2023


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