Reportedly, a physician at a San Diego hospital beat up on a patient during a cardiac catheterization procedure. While I don't condone this behavior in any way, I can understand as an interventional cardiologist how something like this could happen.
The cath lab is a stressful environment. The procedures that we do are very intricate and do carry significant risk. We're dealing with coronary arteries that are only a few millimeters wide. Often our patients are quite sick.
Further, we demand a lot of our patients. We ask them to lie flat and completely still on a narrow, hard table. This is uncomfortable, especially for older patients and people with back problems. While we give sedation medication, our patients are not completely knocked out and they do have to deal with the discomfort.
Often patients for various reasons find it hard to cooperate, and thus they move. Our equipment is literally laid out on top of the patient. So if they move their leg or arch their back to adjust themselves, they not only risk tossing important items on the floor, but they risk harm to themselves as they disrupt our delicate work.
While this physician who allegedly beat his patient is innocent until proven guilty, such violence toward a patient doesn't need to happen, and it shouldn't. The patient could be given more sedation. Or, soft restraints could be used. The patient could even be completely sedated and intubated to facilitate the procedure being done.
So, you combine the difficulty of a patient to lie still with the stress of a physician doing a complicated procedure. But beating up a patient is just not the right way to deal.