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May 9, 2007

a new lease on life

I saw this article (more or less) in the newspaper this morning on the way to work. The article I saw actually said the guy was suing, while the link says he is considering suing.

Anyway, the story goes that this guy in England was diagnosed with serious pancreatic cancer. It was decided that he was terminal and he was told he would not live out the year.

The guy decided to live his life as if every day would be his last, as he had good reason to believe it would be. He dipped into and spent all his savings, figuring he would not need them for much longer anyway. As he spent his last pennies, he realized he has already outlived expectations. Turns out he does not have cancer after all and the "tumor" was just an inflammation.

Oops. Sorry, sir. We misdiagnosed you. You will live after all.

What would you do? A sigh of relief would probably be in order. Maybe even a whoop of joy.

This guy, John, decided to sue the hospital if he cannot come to an agreement first.

Considering he spent all his money and has nothing to live with based on their error and misdiagnosis, he figures they should be responsible for the fact that he spent all his money, and they should cough up some dough.

He probably does not deserve anything. How he chooses to live out his days and spend his kids inheritance is his own problem. Maybe he should have been more responsible. Maybe look for treatment by other methods or other doctors. It is nothing new that doctors are sometimes wrong. Maybe he should have considered saving some just in case.

The doctors should settle with him and offer to kill him since that is what he was hoping for anyway... :-) He seems kind of upset and disappointed that he is going to live.

I have since seen this discussed by A Bisele Babka and DaBoysof905.


  1. Rafi,

    I completely disagree.

    1st, a cancer diagnosis is not a drive through hamburger, you don't pull up, get your diagnosis and pull away. It is a long and difficult road with much time and energy and tests. Therefore, the doctors have many many opportunities to correct their mistaken diagnosis. They did not diagnose him correctly but he had a miracle and outlived expectations, they made a mistake and did not correct their mistake in a reasonable time frame.

    2nd, given that he was responding to an error that was never corrected, recieving a death sentance diagnosis brings on a host of other issues, emotional, psychological...

    so here you have a guy that went though doctors and treatments and was given a death sentance and perhaps suffered some psych/emotional trauma. If they did not correct their mistake ina timely fashion they have an obligation to make it correct.

  2. it does not say it in the article I linked to but in the newspaper article I read the doctors still claim the diagnosis was correct based on the symptoms and tests and information available at the time. Obviously they were wrong unless it was one of those medical miracles and this guy prayed really hard.

    I agree with you. I was really being a bit facetious in my post. I think he probably has a very good case (if the details in the articles are correct)

  3. Rafi,

    I was also diagnosed with a deadly cancer in the summer of 2004, told I would be dead within six months, and figured out on my own that I had no cancer at all. I have a different perspective on John's experience -- you can read about it on my blog at: http://epablog.wordpress.com

  4. thanks, trisha, for sharing your story. The thing is, at least according to the reports, John is not suing because of trauma or the mis-diagnosis itself. He is suing to cover expenses because he spent his money.
    It would make more sense to sue over the trauma involved....

  5. I'm still laughing about your settlement suggestion...


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