Appalled viewers in Arizona and across the country watched in horror as stories emerged about a doctor who prescribed chemotherapy treatment for patients who did not need them. The case has finally concluded with the doctor's sentencing being determined.
While many stories of malpractice revolve around doctor negligence, this story was much different. The Michigan doctor admitted to being influenced by the quest for power and pleaded guilty to 13 counts of health care fraud, two counts of money laundering and one count of conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks in September 2014. The charges were based on the doctor's misdiagnosis and exposure of 550 patients to excessive rounds of chemotherapy that were not needed because the victims did not have signs of cancer. The doctor collected approximately $35 million payments from the patients and their insurance companies.
The doctor was sentenced on July 10 to 45 years in prison, which was more than his attorney was asking for. The maximum punishment could have been 175 years. The sentencing hearing did not include information about restitution, which will be heard in a separate proceeding. The doctor's attorney says that the doctor is agreeing to pay $17.6 million. According to the victim's claims, the doctor was responsible for causing patients to experience weakness and chronic pain and even the death of some of the patients. The doctor was exposed after another doctor at his practice saw that some of the patients exhibited no signs of having cancer. Other patients had the deadly disease but were over-treated for the condition.
Individuals who have been injured or lost a loved one because of a doctor's mistake may want to discuss their case with a medical malpractice attorney. Legal counsel may be able to investigate the claim and provide information about the available options for obtaining financial compensation.