If We Screw Up, It’s You Who Pays

What happens if you’re arrested by a law enforcer under suspicion of possessing drugs, forcefully subjected to a anal cavity search (after an x-ray turned up nothing), and then found innocent of all wrongdoing? You receive a $4,595.12 bill for having the inside of your asshole inspected:

They collaborated to sedate a suspect and thread an 8-inch flexible tube into his rectum in a search for illegal drugs. The suspect, who police said had taunted them that he’d hidden drugs there, refused consent for the procedure.

At least two doctors resisted the police request. An X-ray already had indicated no drugs. They saw no medical need to perform an invasive procedure on someone against his will.


When they were done, the hospital lawyer overruled its doctors. The lawyer told his doctors that a search warrant required the doctors to use “any means” to retrieve the drugs, records show.

So St. Joe’s medical staff knocked out the suspect and performed the sigmoidoscopy, in search of evidence of a misdemeanor or low-level felony charge, records show.


So, was it worth the risk? The X-ray was right. The scope found no drugs.

And when they were done, St. Joe’s sent the suspect a bill for $4,595.12.

Will you look at that? The radar shows a lawsuit coming in fast!

In a just world the law enforcers would be punished for trying to force doctors to perform a medical procedure that wasn’t necessary. The judge would be punished for issuing a warrant without any probably cause (a gut feeling and divine inspiration don’t qualify as probably cause). And the hospital’s lawyer would be punished for ordering the doctors to perform an invasive procedure even though an x-ray had already proven that the suspect had no drugs hiding inside of his ass (a hospital’s lawyer is supposed to keep the hospital out of legal trouble not embroil it in situations that will obviously result in a lawsuit).

However, this isn’t a just world. I suspect that the hospital will be punished but I’m all but certain that the law enforcers and the judge will get away scot-free.

3 thoughts on “If We Screw Up, It’s You Who Pays”

  1. RE: the hospital’s lawyer ordering the doctors to perform the procedure.

    As I am most familiar with commercial aviation, I equate the above as another person trying to usurp the final authority from the pilot in command. Since PIC authority is codified into federal regulation I suspect no court would rule against the pilot for refusing such orders.

    I suspect the same is in place for medical professionals.

  2. Look up the definition of rape in your state’s criminal code. See if it doesn’t apply to this conduct. If a Judge orders you to rape someone, you’re supposed to refuse. If a lawyer told you to read such a command into a search warrant, you’re supposed to fire him. Let the litigation begin.

    Sending a bill, though. That’s serious chutzpah, right there. The judge/jury is going to LOVE that.

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