September 14th, 2010
01:41 PM ET

Doctor sued for 'branding' patient's uterus

Dr. Red Alinsod is being sued for engraving his patient's name on her uterus.

A California gynecologist is being sued for branding a patient's name on her uterus using an "electrocautery device."

Dr. Red Alinsod removed Ingrid Paulicivic's uterus during an operation at his Orange County office in 2006, according to the complaint posted on The Smoking Gun's website. The Laguna Beach doctor carved "Ingrid" on the organ, according to the site, because he "did not want to get it confused with others."

Alinsod told the site that labeling of body parts in that manner is not typical. But, he said, he "felt comfortable putting her name on the uterus" since the 47-year-old hairdresser was a "good friend."

Paulicivic's attorney, Devan Mullins, told CNN.com that his client did not know her physician before consulting him for the operation. Paulicivic and her husband learned of the branding during a follow-up visit, the lawyer said.

During that visit, Paulicivic complained to Alinsod about burns to her leg that she suffered during the operation, Mullins told CNN.com. The doctor was looking at images that were taken during the operation, and the couple asked for copies.

"Alinsod hesitated to give them the photos," the attorney said, sparking the couple's suspicion that something was wrong. The doctor told the couple that he didn't know how to copy the images, so the husband, who is a photographer, showed Alinsod how to move the images to a memory card, and the couple took them, Mullins said.

Later in the husband's office, the couple looked at the photos and were shocked to see "Ingrid" spelled out in inch-high letters on her uterus.

"They reacted like anyone would react - 'Oh my God, I cannot believe this happened,' " the lawyer said.

The couple hired Mullins, who tried for 90 days to notify Alinsod of an impending complaint, but the doctor did not react. "That's what's been odd - that we've gotten no response from him whatsoever," Mullins said.

CNN.com spoke with Alinsod's office manager Tuesday, who said that the physician was seeing patients and that he would not comment on the litigation.

According to Alinsod's website, he formerly headed gynecologic services at George Air Force Base in California and Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. He was affectionately called a "Combat Gynecologist" by his colleagues, it says.

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soundoff (825 Responses)
  1. I can say I'm a Doctor and you can't prove I'm not

    soooooooo many ignorant people spouting their opinions. My opinion is that half of the commenters here have no experience in either medicine or law and have no basis to jump to the ridiculous conclusions they have come to.

    September 14, 2010 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • KH

      Again, who cares? sounds like your an idiot but who cares?

      September 14, 2010 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fireblood

      Using your own stupid logic against you, what credentials do you have to justify expressing your own ignorant opinion?

      September 15, 2010 at 1:38 am | Report abuse |
  2. Nic

    Oh, now I WANT a monogrammed uterus and maybe a spleen too. I think maybe the medical world hasn't thought about the marketing potential here! Seriously, it does beg the question whether or not this guy has some kind of collection if he is marking them. Very weird, but I can't see as this caused her an injury.

    September 14, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. G

    These people seem like they are grasping at straws for a lawsuit, unless the burns were severe, this is so trivial. I had a hysterectomy and I could of cared less what they did to my uterus or large fibroid they took out. They could of played football with it in the OR for all I cared. I don't see anything wrong with what he did as long as it was an organ removed, yoiu hear of tissue mix ups or lab blunders often and I see this as something he did to helpfurther identify the organ's owner.

    September 14, 2010 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Zoe

    http://www.hersfoundation.com/anatomy/index.html This link is posted to educate those who do not understand the value of the uniquely feminine Womb or Uterus and exactly why" Hysterectomy", or removal of a womb is a hot issue. " MODIS OPERANDI comes into my mind.

    September 14, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. denise m

    She is just like any sue happy person. She is trying to get something for nothing.

    September 14, 2010 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. KH

    who cares? they are looking for a way to make some easy money & their lawyers are eating it up.

    September 14, 2010 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jan

    I have just finished reading "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" which follows the controversy about her cancerous cells taken and used for medical research without her family's knowledge for 20 years. While the HeLa cells are used around the world for important research (Salk vaccine research used it) and companies have made big bucks off their sale, Henrietta's family can't even afford health care today. When something is removed from a patient's body, it is not considered part of the patient's body and can be used for most anything. While burning someone's name on a discarded uterus is sicko, there's nothing illegal about it. I think some lawyer is "surgically" removing money from this couple's wallet.

    September 14, 2010 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. zaman

    what does the catholic church say about this case? ... is it a sin to mutilate the home of the fetus? is a a mortal or a venial sin? the priest didn't know,

    September 14, 2010 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fireblood

      This isn't a religious issue, Shaman.

      September 15, 2010 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jackie Smith

    THIS IS WHY MALES SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO BE GYNECOLOGISTS.

    this is like letting an alcoholic work in a bar. they cannot control themselves and they have no common sense. he should be a garbage man, not a doctor. good thing most medical students are women now.

    September 14, 2010 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thomas

      Yes, and your comment show exactly why some women should not receive the vote, should be submissive to their husbands and be seen but not heard (except in the kitchen and bedroom).

      September 15, 2010 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Fireblood

      What a stupid thoughtless generalization against all men.

      September 15, 2010 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Fireblood

      If you needed a special GYN procedure done to save your life and the only person for a 100 miles who was qualified to do it was a male, would you refuse? If you had the power, would you deny all women from ever again going to the male OB/GYNs which whom they've built up trusting caring relationships over periods of years and have received nothing but high qualify care? How totally stupid you are to disqualify all men on the basis of their gender. You are out of touch with reality.

      September 15, 2010 at 1:47 am | Report abuse |
  10. steve

    Thats gonna be the new rage! Whos up for a uterus tattoo?

    September 14, 2010 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Eric

    If he only knew ?
    Not her prefered font style

    September 14, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Shelley

    The standard of care for labeling a specimen (and that is what this uterus was) for further testing is to place the specimen in a container and label it for the patient's first and last name and another unique identifier in the presence of the patient. Writing her first name on the uterus is just a stupid stunt on the part of the surgeon.

    A uterus is not medical waste until after it has been examined by a pathologist following removal from the patient.

    September 14, 2010 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  13. PARROT

    I BET HE HAD FUN WITH THE OTHER DOCTORS IN THE OPERATION ROOM...!!!

    September 14, 2010 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. N. Jerimiah

    this is sometimes done to maintain orientation of the organ during laproscopic surgery so that the surgeon can remove the organ appropriately it needs to be labeled so that it is easier to tell left from right etc while working through small camera and tools, give the dr a break.

    September 14, 2010 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Logical2010

    I can clear this up: he was going to sell it on e-Bay.
    Everybody knows brand-name uteruses bring more on e-Bay.

    September 14, 2010 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mel

      Okay, this made me laugh. Good one. People DO need to find a sense of humor. In addition to that, everyone needs to stop taking sides and think outside the box! Maybe there was a Dr. in training and he was showing them how to use the machine and the first thing that popped into his mind was her name, and THANK GOD he knew her name, that in itself is AWESOME!!! Also, no one reading this article knows why he did, just that he did. And he never even denied that he did.

      September 14, 2010 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • JJ

      thank you so much for making me laugh!! maybe her leg got burnt from that hot cup of mc donalds coffee and needed someone to blame...

      on another note, maybe the burns came from the grounding pad from the machine?

      September 15, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
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