Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Administrative oversight


Mr Hadley?  Hi – I’m Suzie Parker, from the legal department.
I’m very well, thank you.

Now, first of all I’d like to apologise once more for this dreadful mix-up.  We do everything possible to avoid mistakes, but it’s a big hospital carrying out hundreds of operations every day, and this sort of thing will happen from time to time.  We’ve had a preliminary investigation, and it seems the medical staff weren’t at fault at all – it did say penectomy on your admission papers.  It must have been some kind of typo at the admission stage.  Nobody’s fault really, just one of those unfortunate things.

The good news is that of course we want to offer you compensation.  This will be without any admission of liability, and you’ll have to sign a form saying you requested this operation voluntarily.

If you won’t sign?  Well then of course we’d contest any compensation claim in court.  You’d have to prove it was our fault.  Of course, you’d be completely within your rights to do so if that’s what you want.   At the moment, there’s a bit of a backlog, so it might take a few years.  And we tend to appeal decisions all the way up the legal system – just to discourage frivolous claims, you see.  But still, if that's what you -
Will you?  Oh good.  I’m sure that’s the right decision.   So here’s the consent form…

…that’s right.  And then if you could write out that sentence by hand, before signing.
Mmmm… “Genitalia” with only one “t” actually.  Oh I know – I always get that wrong too!

Lovely.  And sign there.  And here.  And separately there.  Great.
Now, the compensation scheme we operate is a generous one, but there is a sliding scale.  It’s based upon the loss caused, you see.   It’s not too complicated, but you have to fill in all this information, then we’ll work out how much you’ve lost because of this silly mistake.

That’s right…age, you see, and whether you’re married. 
That?  Oh, well we need to know the number of sexual partners in a year, because that affects the assessment of the loss caused by the removal of your testicles.  So the number of women – sorry, or men is it?  Right – the number of women you’ve had sex with in the last three years.  I bit intrusive, I know, but you can see the point.  I mean, we wouldn’t want to be paying a lot of compensation to someone for the removal of his balls if he never used them, would we?

Really?  As many as that?  You do know we’ll be requiring signed affidavits from each sexual partner, and –
 - yes, of course you can change it.  Best to get these things right from the start.  OK, that looks a lot more reasonable.

Hmm?  Masturbation?  What do you mean, masturbation?  Oh - oh I see.  So, you’d be claiming that the loss of your testicles has caused you harm because it makes you less likely to…yes, I suppose I see.  I’m not sure what our policy is on that.  I don't think I can think of a similar claim before... I mean, in some ways it’s a benefit, isn’t it?  Not having that silly little habit any more?  I mean, most men grow out of that when they’re teenagers, don’t they?  Still, I’ll check for you, OK?  You might get something.
Now for the penectomy, the sliding scale is based upon size.  So, if you could just indicate… there.  Yes.  And the girth, too…  you can just guess that one if you don’t really know.  Many men don't. 

Wow.  That was a big one, wasn’t it?  What a shame you didn't have any girlfriends!
Erm... you do realise, of course, that the hospital retains the, um… material that was surgically removed, so they could make a scientific estimate of the likely extent of the –

Yes, you can change that too.  Easy to get confused.  Gosh, that’s a lot less, isn’t it?  Maybe you were confusing centimetres and inches?  Easily done.
Right, well of course our claims department will be processing this, and you’ll receive notification of the exact sum due to you in about two months time.  But from the look of it, my guess, is that you could be looking at…well, several hundred pounds at least!  Won’t that be nice! 

Oh - and I forgot to mention the best news of all!  Although of course we admit no liability, the hospital wants to offer you a 10% discount off the tonsilectomy you were actually supposed to have!  And the same surgeon insists on carrying it out!  No really.  She says it's the least she can do, after inconveniencing you so much in this way.


  1. very amusing. I especially liked "It must have been some kind of typo at the admission stage. Nobody’s fault really, just one of those unfortunate things."