Man in US given vasectomy instead of circumcision awarded over $3 million in compensation

A patient who was given a vasectomy by mistake has been awarded a big pay out.
A patient who was given a vasectomy by mistake has been awarded a big pay out. Photo credit: Getty Images

A man in the US, who spoke little English, has been awarded over $3 million in compensation after he was given a vasectomy instead of being circumcised. 

Zaw Zaw, a 38-year-old Burmese man living in Iowa, was sent to the Iowa Clinic in January 2016 for a routine circumcision. 

He had a referral form, which was also faxed to the clinic, his lawyer Marc Harding told Fox 6 News. 

"In four places on the referral form it said circumcision, circumcision, circumcision, circumcision," Harding said. 

Zaw Zaw filled out the intake forms with the help of an interpreter,  but the form was shredded.  

When surgeons spoke to Zaw Zaw he was unable to communicate with them, and a vasectomy was carried out instead of a circumcision. 

"Zaw Zaw never understood what they were trying to get across and that was their duty and their job to get that across," Harding told Fox 6 News, 

On Wednesday local time a jury found the surgeon who undertook the operation was 70 per cent to blame for the mix up, and Zaw Zaw was 30 percent. 

They awarded him $3.4 million in compensation. 

The clinic responded to the verdict in a statement to Fox 6 News: 

"We are grateful for the jury's hard work and are pleased that no fault in this matter was assigned to the Iowa Clinic. It is important to note, the physician involved in this case has not been on staff with the clinic for more than a year."

Zaw Zaw has had the vasectomy reversed and been circumcised at another clinic. 



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