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Michigan Michigan doctor treats patients for cancer....that didn't have cancer!

Discussion in 'United States Regional Forum' started by MyBuddy, Nov 1, 2015.

  1. MyBuddy

    MyBuddy Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    I know this was back in July, but I wanted to post about it and forgot! :oops: lol This was so shocking when I heard it. I mean, how incredible that a doctor would do this!! I'm just floored!! Greed is such a horrible thing. :banghead:

    Michigan cancer doctor gets 45 years in prison - CNN.com

    (CNN) A Detroit-area doctor who authorities say gave cancer treatment drugs to patients who did not need them -- including some who didn't actually have cancer -- was sentenced Friday to 45 years in prison.

    Dr. Farid Fata, 50, pleaded guilty in September to giving cancer treatments to misdiagnosed patients, telling some they had a terminal blood cancer called multiple myeloma. He pleaded guilty to 13 counts of Medicare fraud, one count of conspiracy to pay or receive kickbacks and two counts of money laundering.

    Federal prosecutors called him the "most egregious fraudster in the history of this country." To Fata, they said, "patients were not people. They were profit centers."

    Fata forfeited $17.6 million that he collected from Medicare and private insurance companies. Some 553 patients received medically unnecessary infusions or injections, prosecutors said.

    The hematologist-oncologist gave an emotional apology in court, saying he was "ashamed" of his actions.

    "I have violated the Hippocratic oath and violated the trust of my patients," Fata said, according to CNN affiliate WDIV. "I do not know how I can heal the wound. I do not know how to express the sorrow and the shame."

    But to the dozens of Fata's victims who filed into U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan throughout the week to watch his sentencing, his apology doesn't matter. Many will live with the effects of his, at times, unnecessary treatments, for the rest of their lives.

    As Geraldine Parkin, the wife of one former patient said in court, many were "tortured until their last breaths."

    Treated, but not sick

    Robert Sobieray went to Fata and was given chemotherapy treatments for two and a half years. But he never had cancer.

    "It just gets to me," Sobieray said. "What was the motivation? Why, why me? I don't know what did I ever do to him."

    The chemotherapy treatments were painful, and made him physically sick. They were so strong that his teeth fell out and his jaw started to change shape. Years after finding out he didn't have cancer, he has lost all but one of his teeth.

    "With all the bills piling up, I can't afford to get new teeth," Sobieray said. "(I) would like to eat a good meal again someday. Like salad, used to love eating salad. I can't eat that anymore. A lot of things I love I can't eat anymore."

    Patty Hester went to Fata in 2010 after being recommended by another doctor. Her white blood cell counts were low, and Fata was a renowned hematologist and oncologist.

    "He was, according to the web page, and according to the fliers, he's world-renowned," Hester said. "When you went in his office, he was top doc."

    Hester, who worked in an emergency room at the time, was devastated when Fata told her she had myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).

    "He said, 'You need to start on chemo, like, immediately,'" Hester recalled.

    She was in disbelief. And after debating with Fata, he instead put her on iron treatments and, eventually, blood plasma treatments. She was still taking those pricey plasma treatments the day co-workers made her come to the TV and see the news: her doctor had been arrested.

    Hester did not have cancer.

    'Took full advantage of my trust '

    Some of Fata's patients did have various forms of cancer.

    Chris Sneary faced Fata for the first time since his former doctor's arrest on Tuesday as he read his victim impact statement in court. He turned to glance at Fata, took a deep breath and read his story.

    Sneary came to Fata to be treated for testicular cancer from 2010 to 2013. He had 40 days of chemotherapy, 14 days of hydration therapy and dozens of other treatments and procedures.

    "I gave full and total trust to this man to get me and my family through this journey I was about to begin," Sneary said.

    Sneary discovered after Fata's arrest that he'd been given "gross overtreatment" -- more expensive and harsh chemotherapy than was necessary and, worse, he had a testicle removed that was medically unnecessary.

    "Dr. Fata took full advantage of my trust in him, my fear of dying and, most of all, my top of the line health insurance," Sneary said, at times fighting back tears in court.

    And one patient who did have cancer spoke out in court posthumously. Donald Crabtree's wife, Marietta, read a statement he wrote back in December last year, before he passed away.

    "None of the tumors were helped -- they increased in number, they increased in size," Crabtree read in court. "I believe Dr. Fata knowingly and purposely treated me for the wrong cancer and gave me the wrong chemotherapy."

    Crabtree said it was his dying wish for Fata to spend the rest of his life in prison.

    Fata apologizes to patients

    Before being sentenced, Fata turned to face those who were at his sentencing and apologized.

    "The quest for power is self-destructive," he said, according to WDIV. "They came to me seeking compassion and care. I failed. Yes, I failed."

    Now some of his former patients have a chance to file claims and possibly be awarded some of the funds that he collected from Medicare and insurance companies.

    Fata is expected to serve at least 34 years of his sentence, possibly at a low-security prison in Michigan.
  2. JanS

    JanS DCF Owner Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Wow that's really bad and think how miserable things like chemo are to start with from what I understand...
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Gelcoater

    Gelcoater Expert ThreadCrapper $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber

    I'm sorta surprised no one just :machinegun:the guy?
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. MyBuddy

    MyBuddy Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Yea, really. :p

    Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk
  5. GennyB

    GennyB Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    As someone who has undergone both chemo and radiation this story brings some questions to mind. First, how did this happen? I was referred to a local cancer center and a whole team treated me including my PCP was very involved and followed up on all my treatment.
    IMHO, just prison is too good for this guy. Perhaps he should have to endure the same thing and be told he has cancer and have to suffer through the process . To hear the "C" word is devastating to a family. Then facing the treatments not knowing what is going to happen is beyond torture. The chemo can make you sicker than any flu you have ever had and radiation can make you feel like you have 3rd degree burns....all that and you still don't know if you are going survive. What a horrible thing to do to someone. :)

    I vote gonad radiation.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  6. obbanner

    obbanner $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber

    Decades ago, I dated a cytotechnologist, who visually screened cells for cancer. She was very stressed out because of the implications of a misdiagnosis either way. She explained that cancer cells and healthy cells don't always have much of a visual difference and it could be difficult to make the call. If misdiagnosed, either cancer went untreated or the patient was subjected to the burdens of cancer treatment for no reason.

    That doctor had such a lack of regard for humanity, it's absolutely disgusting.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. MyBuddy

    MyBuddy Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Did that shame kick in before or after you got caught?? :tap:

    My husband went through it too with Stage 3 Melanoma. If this happened to him by this man, I would be a changed person. Bitter and hateful to this man! :cus:
  8. MyBuddy

    MyBuddy Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    I DVR the show Dateline and they just had an episode on this Doctor. I had a hard time typing the word 'doctor' to describe him!!! :mad: He is Not a doctor in my eyes. :tap:

    Anyway, it was a very good show and shows the story line on him, a few of his patients and how he got away with this for so long.

    For one, he was highly recommended! Probably, before he got greedy, he was a competent cancer doctor. Other physicians referred their patients to him. When one woman decided she might want a second opinion on his cancer diagnosis, she went back to her GP for a name. He told her there were none better! So she stayed with him. It was only after she fell and broke her leg that another doctor looked into her records and found that things didn't add up. She didn't even have cancer and yet Dr. Fata had started her on Chemo!

    This guy had his own labs, his own treatment room and everything related, all under one roof. So he was able to hide any suspicion. He even went so far as to write up a fake protocol when one of the nurses questioned him on a treatment.

    He was very aggressive with treatment, treating even the very old and frail. One man, who didn't have cancer but who received Chemo anyway, had to have a liver transplant because of it and is now on lifelong medications. All when he didn't even have cancer.

    In 2010, a nurse interested in working there, shadowed another nurse for a day, and it took her all of 20 minutes to realize there were some weird things going on. She reported it, but nothing was ever done about it. :facepalm:

    It was a very interesting show and I recommend it. I also recommend a second opinion on EVERYthing! :groan:

    PREVIEW Dateline Exclusive: Do No Harm - NBC News
    • Like Like x 1
  9. WiglWerm

    WiglWerm Hot Topics Subscriber

    I am from the Detroit area and my friend was one of his patients. The huge doses of medications he prescribed devastated my friends immune system. Unbelievable how low people can sink. :(
  10. MyBuddy

    MyBuddy Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Oh, I am so sorry! There was someone in that date line show who talked about her husband losing his immune system because of these treatments and it was horrible what he went through. So sad that someone could be that cruel and greedy. I feel for your friend. I'm so sorry. :(
    • Like Like x 1

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