FROM THE STANDPOINT of the criminal law, willfully committing unnecessary surgery (or other unnecessary medical treatments) is fraud because it obtains money from the patient under the false pretense that the medical procedure is necessary. It is also a crime against the person because, depending upon the extent of the intrusion, the unnecessary surgery or treatment would involve battery, mayhem, or criminal homicide.

The victim's consent cannot be used as a defense by the offender because consent was obtained under false pretenses. In cases of unnecessary surgeries and treatments by veterinarians, the behavior would comprise fraud and cruelty to animals. Insurance companies who are asked to pay for willfully committed unnecessary surgeries and treatments would also be fraud victims. Concerns about unnecessary medical procedures in ...

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