Imagine going to the doctor for a check-up only to find out that you have cancer. The mental breakdown that comes with the thoughts of having this tragic disease, would only be the beginning. Then comes the arduous treatments and the incredible costs associated.
Now, imagine this. You go to the doctor and are diagnosed with caner — but you do not have cancer. That’s what happened to some 553 patients who fell victim to the unethical practices of Dr. Farid Fata, who is now currently awaiting sentencing for wrongfully diagnosing hundreds of patients for monetary gain.
Dr. Fata was arrested in 2013 for healthcare fraud after defrauding Medicare of over $169 million dollars. Patients received numerous chemotherapy treatments which were not warranted.
Chemotherapy drugs are so powerful that it is meant to kill growing cancer cells. As helpful as it is, it can also kill healthy cells which can cause severe side effects to the body, including lightheadedness, pale skin, pain, sores on the tongue and lips, and tiredness. Some chemotherapy drugs also cause nausea, edema (swelling of hands and feet), and cognitive impairment. For some, there are side effects which can include infertility.
Not to mention, the patients actually believed that they were dying. The emotional aspect of such a thought would affect not only the patient, but also family and friends.
It is clear, Dr, Fata lost all ethics and empathy; a violation of his job’s nature. So what is an appropriate sentence for such an atrocious act? Defense attorneys argued that no one died, and are asking for 25 years in prison. However, his actions harmed hundreds of people and devastated many families. How do you quantify such a crime? Victims are claiming there is no real justice. Analysts suggest when you get a diagnosis request to see the paperwork. Go a step further, get a second diagnosis.
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