From Michigan via the Detroit Free Press:
Patients who didn’t have cancer were diagnosed as such. Sick patients were given too-high doses of powerful drugs. Some in remission were sent for unneeded chemotherapy. End-of-life patients were pumped full of drugs that couldn’t help them anymore.
These millions of dollars of medical treatments and tests were billed to Medicare in a pricey health care scheme run by metro Detroit hematologist oncologist Farid Fata, according to a federal criminal complaint filed Tuesday. The complaint says Fata intentionally misdiagnosed patients “as having cancer to justify unnecessary cancer treatment.”
So is this an example of government over reach? The invasion of ObamaCare into the doctor-patient relationship?
In one case, the federal complaint outlines, Fata prescribed 56 doses of rituximab to a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma patient over two years, when the norm would be a dozen in two years. In another instance cited in the complaint, Fata allegedly forced a sick man who’d fallen down and hit his head when he came to the center to get his chemo before he could be taken to the emergency room — and the man later died as a result of the head injury.
OK, maybe not.
However, it is an example of our patients’ difficulty in judging quality. He was highly qualified based on the measures doctors use:
According to the Michigan Hematology Oncology Centers’ website, Fata did his his hematology oncology fellowship at the world-renown Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He was voted one of the “Top Docs” in hematology or oncology in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012 by Hour Detroit Magazine.
as well as based no society’s measures
Fata founded the Swan for Life Cancer Foundation, which offers support to cancer patients and their loved ones in southeast Michigan, according to the oncology centers’ website.
From a follow-up article, he was qualified based on patient criteria as well:
“I always liked Dr. Fata. He had kind eyes,” she said Wednesday, a day after Fata’s arrest.
The real problem I have with the whole, sordid, alleged affair is that we are being told perhaps we should not expect any better:
“The trust that a professional is acting as a professional becomes a matter of survival,” said Ann Mongoven, assistant professor at Michigan State University’s Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences. “ That’s why some might argue physicians have a special kind of obligation.”
And I guess some might argue otherwise??