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letters | spotlight on double-booked surgeries

Practice of concurrent surgeries cries out for full disclosure

Kudos to the Globe Spotlight Team for exposing the practice of concurrent surgeries and the fact that such practices are a complete surprise to patients (“Clash in the name of care,” Page A1, Oct. 25). There is one immediate remedy for such conduct, and that is full disclosure to surgical patients before procedures take place.

It is well-settled consumer law that failure to disclose a material fact that would cause the consumer not to proceed with the transaction is a deceptive act. Why should surgical procedures be treated any differently? And the disclosure to patients should be clear and understandable, not buried in some incomprehensible, obtuse fine print.

Let’s give health care consumers the material facts they need to make truly informed decisions. If the practice of concurrent surgeries conforms to acceptable medical standards, why not let consumers in on the secret?

Barbara Anthony, Cambridge

The writer is the former Massachusetts undersecretary of consumer affairs and business regulation and former regional director of the Federal Trade Commission.