Some doctors pictured in a recent New York Times Magazine ad may not have told their employer that they were being paid by Intuitive Surgical, a company preparing to defend da Vinci robot lawsuit filings.

According to a recent report from The Chicago Tribune, endorsing a commercial product may be a violation of policy set forth by the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System, and failing to make the institution aware of the doctors’ relationship with Intuitive may be an even greater infraction. One doctor who appeared in the da Vinci Surgical System advertisement was paid $16,000 in the most recent one-year reporting period, the Tribune reports.

Given these ties, patients seeking medical attention from the University of Illinois hospital may wonder if its doctors are biased when it comes to recommending robotic surgery.

The ad, which ran on January 19th, depicts dozens of University of Illinois hospital employees posing above the caption, “We believe in da Vinci Surgery because our patients benefit.”

A Columbia University professor raises these concerns, asking, “Now that your doctor is a spokesperson for a particular company or a particular product, how do you know that you’re going to get advice and recommendations that are really what is best for you?”

A month later, officials at the hospital have asked Intuitive to discontinue the ad, and an investigation into its doctors’ “circumstances of participation” has since been launched. “As a large and complex organization that adheres to high standards, the U of I is compelled to tell its public this fact: the University is run by fallible human beings,” said a spokesperson.

Will More Robotic Surgeries Lead to da Vinci Lawsuits?

The da Vinci Surgical System was approved in 2000 to aid in minimally-invasive laparoscopic, urologic and gynecologic surgeries, and is frequently incorporated into hysterectomies and prostate cancer operations, to name a few. A Bloomberg report indicates that in 2012, the da Vinci surgery robot was used in some 300,000 procedures.

In October, the company acknowledged its involvement in at least 76 da Vinci robot lawsuits. These product liability claims allege the robot’s potential to cause cut ureters, surgical burns and tears to arteries, bowel injuries and other complications.

File a da Vinci Robot Lawsuit

Contact our Firm today to learn more about da Vinci robot lawsuits, and whether you may be eligible to file a claim against Intuitive. Our Firm can be reached directly at (877) 779-1414.

Published February 25, 2014 by