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Cancer clinic doctor faces civil suits for doctor error

Medical malpractice cases are not always cut and dry. Investigations into a patient's allegations may be necessary to determine whether the doctor or health care professional deviated from the accepted standard of care. New York patients might witness many forms of doctor error but for successful malpractice lawsuits, it is necessary to show that the patient's injury or harm occurred as the result of the medical professional's negligent care.

On the other hand, some cases are egregious instances of doctor error and go beyond the civil lawsuit and border criminal activity. A doctor in Mississippi recently received a 20 year prison sentence for fraudulent at a cancer clinic. The doctor was also order to pay $8.2 million to the cancer clinic. This summer she pleaded guilty to making false statements, as well as health care fraud.

The doctor apparently founded the clinic in 2005. Among the disturbing facts of the case, the clinic re-used syringes and the bags that administered chemotherapy to patients. Prosecutors claimed that some drugs were watered down but did not prove this allegation.

Among those testifying in the case were family members of patients of the clinic. One woman said that the older sister was wrongly diagnosed with cancer yet still received treatment at the center. She believes this treated led to her sister's worsened condition and eventually her death this year.

In addition to the criminal case, civil lawsuits are also pending against the 50-year-old doctor in state court.

The clinic closed in 2011 due to an infection scare. State health officials tested hundreds of cancer patients for infections, including HIV. None of the results implicated the clinic but one of the outstanding civil suits alleges that a patient died from HIV contracted at the facility.

Source: My Fox NY, "Correction: Cancer Clinic Probe-Mississippi story," Emily Wagster Pettus, Dec. 8, 2012

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