Everyone knows someone who has experienced the terrible disease that is cancer. It’s an unfortunate reality, but it’s one wherein we must live. What can make cancer so much worse is the aggressive, life-altering treatments that often follow, like radiation and chemotherapy.
While some cancer treatments are becoming more advanced, less aggressive, and not as invasive, we put an immense amount of faith in doctors to guide us in the right direction. So, what happens when individuals considered top, world-renowned doctors break that trust and weaken that faith?
That is exactly what happens to hundreds of patients when one doctor’s lies came unhinged and uncovered for the world to see in 2013.
Dr. Farid Fata: When a Trusted Authority in Cancer Treatment Lies
An oncologist in Michigan by the name of Dr. Farid Fata operated numerous upscale clinics in Detroit-area suburbs. In 2013, however, he was accused of and arrested for giving cancer treatment drugs to patients who did not need them, some of whom did not even have cancer.
“Dr. Fata did not care for patients; he exploited them as commodities,” U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said in a news release. “He over-treated, under-treated and outright lied to patients about whether they had cancer so that he could maximize his own profits.”
Noting that chemotherapy is toxic to both cancerous and healthy tissue, McQuade said Fata “gave poison to these people not to keep them alive but to make money.”
In September 2015, Fata pleaded guilty to 13 healthcare and financial fraud charges and ordered to forfeit $17,600,000 by the U.S. District Court Judge Paul Borman. Fata admitted to prescribing and administering unnecessary aggressive cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and infusion therapies to 553 patients so he could increase billings, which totaled about $34,000,000 to Medicare and private insurance companies.
“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.”
“They came to me seeking compassion and care. I failed them,” said Fata in a tear-choked voice. “My sins are many.”