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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Filed under: Courts • Health Care
soundoff (825 Responses)
  1. km

    To the ER physician, you scare me by the simple fact that you said she should have to pay all lawyers fees if she were to "loose". People it's LOSE! if you can't even spell correctly, I'd be afraid of you being my ER Doc! But regarding the actual case, dr.s do not have the right to just do anything they want. Almost every doctor I've worked with over a 15 year period in er's ccu's etc all develop a God complex. Looks like that's exactly what this dr. thought. He had no right to do it because he didn't inform the patient before hand and give consent!

    September 15, 2010 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  2. HPNIII

    This article makes no sense at all. The first part of the article states he removed the uterus, in his office for that matter, didn't realize it was such a simple operation. Then the article talks about the couple seeing her name on her uterus in an x-ray after the operation. Then goes on to state the doctor did it so as not to get her uterus mixed up with others. (So like how many people had a uterus stuck up in there along with hers. Suggestion, try writing the article in fact, rather than fiction.

    September 15, 2010 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  3. Brian

    Big deal made about nothing , but we have to feed the monster called the media

    September 15, 2010 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  4. asfd

    white power

    September 15, 2010 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  5. Aaron

    welcome to America... the land of "let's whine about because we have nothing else to do." this story is pointless to talk about there are more pressing issues .. like obama has enough time to worry about publishing another book... and during his run for IL senate... he forced jack ryan's divorce and custody records to be made public so that Ryan would drop out of the race so obama could win... what a sleeze

    September 15, 2010 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  6. Noneof US

    Funny how no ones asking about the severity of her "burn". Could it be equivalent to a mild sun burn, maybe. I just think it's hillarious that because it's a "burn" everyone automatically assumes that skin is melting off and that she has been physically scarred for life.

    September 15, 2010 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
    • My Opinion Only

      Exactly! The article does not give enough information for the public to judge. Unfortunately, too many articles today are poorly written and seem meant to inflame the public's opinion.

      September 16, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Terri

    It's just weird. And why lie and say they were friends? He knew he was doing something outside the norm. Maybe not worthy of a lawsuit, but he definitely needs a reprimand or some training.

    September 15, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  8. Rob

    Combat gynecologist?

    "Cover me boys, I'm going in!"

    September 15, 2010 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Mikey

      Well played, sir!

      September 15, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jeff

    I assume that the only reason these grab-handing malcontents have any case against this doctor is due to HIPPA regulations.

    Lawsuits like this one continue to undermine the integrity of our legal system. How did it come to this? Wasn't there a time when we used the legal system to punish real crimes? How many of you would be willing to throw your pride away and feign 'emotional damage' in order for a big pay day? I know it is the American dream to gain wealth and power, but there's no way I could ever pull this kind of legal scam off and still live with myself.

    We also complain about medical care in the US, and yet, thousands of malpractice suits continue to cripple the health care system. This doctor spent countless hours and thousands of his own money to get his doctorate and pursue a medical career. How can we expect doctors to improve medical care in the US when we're using trivial slip ups to sue them and ruin their careers?

    The problems we face in the US will never be solved by the government or in the court system. It starts with us. Intelligent, level-headed North Americans who need to unite and speak up when all we've been taught to do is mind our own business. We can't do that anymore. We have to let people like this know that their actions are crippling the progress of our nation.

    September 15, 2010 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  10. Noneof US

    must have had a snook in her snizz

    September 15, 2010 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  11. Tatiana

    Try to be sensitive and put yourself in her shoes. Would you like your name to be engraved on a piece of your dead flesh which is going to be incinerated?

    September 15, 2010 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • John Doomer

      Not Only would I not care one iota, I would welcome the medical community to do virtually anything they feel like with my REMOVED parts, other than make meals out of it for personal use of course

      September 15, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  12. licia

    Oh whatever. It was removed and became medical waste.

    Sue happy Americans ruining the healthcare system once again.

    "You can imagine their reactions to seeing the photos".. yeah not shock and horror.. more like jumping for joy because they now have a suit.

    September 15, 2010 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Tina

      I totally agree with you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      September 15, 2010 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  13. John Doomer

    "Branding" the uterus implied, to me, that the doctor put his own name on this piece of medical waste.

    Natalie called the doctor a sociopath. Comical...

    Perspective is an interesting thing, but I'm going to suggest that this is a complete nonstory if indeed this uterus was literally going to be thrown away. Is anyone suggesting that this removed uterus was anything more than medical waste or a hunk of disgusting flesh? It seems so, based on the fact that the doctor is in litigation over it.

    September 15, 2010 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  14. JoAnn White

    I can't quite understand what the big deal is about the "branding" of an organ that has been removed. Would she feel the same, if it were found to be diseased with something that would need to be further treated? As for the doctor, unfortunatley his malpractice insurance will no doubt raise due to a frivilious lawsuit.

    September 15, 2010 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  15. OhioPaul

    Nice one 'Krow'@ 9:32am...made me smile, thanks.

    September 15, 2010 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
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