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Revisiting the Case of Farid Fata – Why Patient Advocates Must Take Notice
In July 2015, we took a look at the case of Farid Fata, the Michigan oncologist who is now in prison on fraud charges because he diagnosed and treated more than 500 people for cancer they didn’t have, many of whom died. Yes – you read that right. You read the part about treating more than 500 people for cancer they didn’t have. And, I hope you caught the part that he is in prison on FRAUD charges – not murder, not manslaughter – nothing that recognizes the horrible physical condition he left those patients in after aggressive chemo and radiation. Whatever he could make money from, that’s what he did, and that’s why he is in prison. See: A Second Opinion Isn’t Good Enough Shortly after publishing the post about second opinions, I wrote about how, if any of Fata’s patients had hired a patient advocate, they would not have become victims. There are tasks we do to help our clients that would have prevented harm once we were hired. See: How Professional Patient Advocates Would Have Stopped Farid Fata Then, last night, NBC’s Dateline took a more in-depth look at the case of Farid Fata, featuring interviews with a number of the patients he had treated, plus an interview with a nurse, Angela Swantek, who figured out what he was doing during a job interview three years before Farid was arrested. No, she didn’t take the job. Instead she blew him in – and the State of Michigan did nothing about it then. (I say KUDOs to her and a pox on the house of those people who decided not to investigate.) What I learned during the Dateline interviews was that many (if not most or even all) of Fata’s victims had good health insurance. Ding ding ding! The alarms went off – because that was not something I had written about previously in regards to Fata. And it’s most certainly an area where advocates can make a HUGE difference. And it almost always takes people by surprise until they realize how much sense it makes. Further, it…