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Consumer Protection?
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In order to get Sally out of UCD VMTH, despite our disagreement with the discharge papers, we were forced to pay the charges in full.  We put the charges on our MasterCard credit card.  Sally’s discharge papers stated they performed a surgery to biopsy Sally’s tumor, and that we agreed to it.  We had specifically denied consent for surgery to biopsy and consented instead only to surgery to remove the tumor on the advice of our hometown veterinarian.  Upon discovering what procedure was actually done, we realized Sally would not make a recovery.  We put her to sleep a short time after we returned home with her, in August, 2002.


Once we submitted our discharge papers with our explanation and a note from our hometown veterinarian, our credit card company and our bank as well as the bank for UCD VMTH agreed we did not owe UCD VMTH money.  The bank for UCD VMTH charged back UCD VMTH for the fees—literally took the monies back.  Our bank removed the charges from our bill.  We thought our horrible experience was over, and we tried to reconcile the loss of Sally.  UCD VMTH waited one year (until the statute no longer allowed us to sue them for malpractice) and then sued us for the fees already written off by the credit card company and the banks.  Eight years later, here we are.

In court UCD VMTH did not testify that they met the standard of care. We brought in an expert witness to explain why UCD VMTH did not meet the standard of care. UCD VMTH acknowledged there were material risks not revealed to us as a part of informed consent. UCD VMTH testified they routinely alter medical records after the fact. All of the aformentioned acts would be in violation of the law for any other veterinarian in the State of California. However, UCD VMTH contended in defense of their actions that California law exempted them from "all the rules under the California Medical Veterinary Practices Act". The Court agreed with UCD VMTH and ruled in their favor.