An Illinois woman is seeking financial damages for medical malpractice after a physician reportedly lied to her about a medical condition and gave her unapproved drugs. The woman was told that she had “pre-leukemia,” according to news reports. In many cases, we talk about the failure to diagnose a legitimate medical condition — in this case, the physician diagnosed a condition that did not even exist!
The defendant has already been sentenced in connection with criminal charges related to the incident. His medical license has been suspended, and he must serve two years’ probation and 200 hours of community service, in addition to a quarter-million dollar fine. That physician also had to pay more than $1 million to the government after it was discovered that he submitted false claims to Medicare.
Reports show that the woman had to undergo a bone marrow biopsy to determine the cause of her anemia. The test showed that the woman might be able to benefit from vitamin therapy, and additional tests were recommended. However, the defendant reportedly diagnosed her with cancer while she was still hospitalized after the biopsy. The physician told her that she should start treatment immediately. Although he told the patient that the drugs were chemotherapy agents that were approved for use domestically, they were actually illegal substitutes that had been smuggled from overseas.
The woman in this case is seeking financial damages because she said she suffered shock and trauma from the diagnosis. The woman’s kidneys were also damaged, and she suffered fatigue and other side effects. Those counterfeit drugs had been shipped to the U.S. from Turkey in containers that were not refrigerated.
We often equate medical malpractice with the failure to diagnose or appropriately treat a condition. However, physicians may also be targeted because of this type of indiscretion. Patients should never be subjected to unnecessary and harmful treatment from such unscrupulous and negligent medical professionals.
Source: Courthouse News Service, “Doctor Accused of a Multitude of Sins” Joe Harris, May. 07, 2014