Sometimes, it’s difficult to determine the difference between fact and fiction. You may assume that a story about a doctor telling more than 500 of his patients that they have cancer when they do not would be the basis for an interesting Hollywood movie script. Or, at the very least, it would provide sufficient material for a TV movie. However, neither of the two is true in the case of Dr. Farid Fata. Tragically, the story of his atrocities is true.
As reported by Dean Reynolds of CBS News last July, Dr. Fata – a Detroit-area cancer physician – plead guilty to giving fraudulent medical treatments to more than 550 of his patients. Unimaginable and reprehensible are only two of the words that best describe the actions of this former healthcare provider. The team at Allegiant Experts would like to express its sincere and heartfelt sympathies and best wishes to all of those affected by his cruelty.
In his report, Reynolds details how many of Fata’s victims spoke in the Detroit courtroom during the trial to convict the “doctor” of his crimes. They each told horrifying stories of how he ruined their lives by forcing them to endure unnecessary cancer treatments. Not only did they have to experience the intense physical hardships associated with the treatments, but the financial burdens that came along with them were immense.
“Courtroom sketches could not adequately capture the anguish of the victims Tuesday as one by one, they confronted the cancer doctor who prescribed aggressive chemotherapy for patients he knew were not ill, and for those who were, ordering treatments that were excessive while billing medicare $34 million,” writes Reynolds, “In court, Dr. Farid Fata showed no emotion for a man who prosecutors said would bully and browbeat patients who dared to question his treatment.”
Reynolds’ report describes Fata as particularly abusive. He was not just a man taking advantage of his patients. He specifically sought to intimidate and scare them. “A memo from prosecutors demanding a life sentence said Fata would tell his patients they risked death without him. Telling one: ‘Your life or your money.’” Reynolds writes, going on to explain that Fata unnecessarily put his patients through the rigours of chemotherapy and overprescribed aggressive drugs.
“One drug, rituximab, is typically given eight times for aggressive lymphoma,” reports Reynolds, “But Dr. Fata prescribed it to one patient 94 times.” Although many patients took the stand to complain of Fata’s crimes, they only represented a tiny fraction of the number of individuals who are forever affected by his actions. The physical, emotional and financial devastation caused by this man is immeasurable.
Perhaps, the most shocking and disturbing element of this entire story is the fact that Dr. Fata was able to get away his egregious practices for so long – and under the noses of many other highly-touted doctors, as well. Reynolds reveals that Fata was “backed up by other well-respected physicians and a prominent local hospital.” Thankfully, one doctor who worked for him stepped to do the right thing.
Although this case is one that took place in the state of Michigan, it still hits home for the team, here at Allegiant Experts. We take hospital and medical malpractice cases very seriously. If you’re an attorney who could use some expert advice about appropriate procedures in the medical field, we’d certainly be happy to provide it. For more information about our many professional services in this field, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 407-217-5831.