Cancer is a terrible disease known to commonly exist nowadays. Almost everyone knows someone suffering from cancer. Often times, what makes it much worse is the life-changing treatments a certain patient may undergo – chemotherapy and radiation.
In addition to these cancer treatments, patients also exert a huge amount of faith in the doctors for their medical advice and guidance to the right direction. But what would happen if the person you expect to bring chances of survival, light, and hope – a topnotch and world-renowned doctor — weakens your faith and breaks your trust?
This is precisely what happened to hundreds of patients when one doctor’s dark secrets and lies were uncovered in the year 2013.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOUR DOCTOR LIES?
Dr. Farid Fata, an oncologist in Michigan, runs several upscale clinics in Detroit-area suburbs. His patients accused him of giving cancer treatment drugs to those who did not need them as well as to some who did not even have cancer. He was then arrested in 2013.
In a news release, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade states that:
“Dr. Fata did not care for patients; he exploited them as commodities. He over-treated, under-treated and outright lied to patients about whether they had cancer so that he could maximize his own profits.”
McQuade further says that Fata gave poison to the patients not to keep them alive but to earn more money.
Fata confessed that he prescribed and administered unnecessary cancer treatments like infusion therapies and chemotherapy to 553 patients to increase billings – which summed $34,000,000 to Medicare and private insurance companies. In September 2015, he pleaded guilty to 13 healthcare and financial fraud charges. He was then ordered to pay $17,600,000 by the U.S. District Court Judge Paul Borman.
According to CNN affiliate WDIV, Fata says that he has violated the Hippocratic oath and the trust of his patients as well. Dr. Fata can’t think of any other means to heal the wounds he created. Also, he added this to his statement:
“I do not know how to express the sorrow and the shame. They came to me seeking compassion and care. I failed them. My sins are many.”
However, Fata’s voice was near the deep sense of loss. Federal prosecutors described him as the most egregious fraudster in the history of the country. They also added that Fata sees his patients not as people but as profit centers.
On the day Fata was sentenced, many of his victims wore bright yellow clothes symbolizing the last day he would see sunlight. An hour of deliberation took place and the judge came back with Fata’s sentence… 45 YEARS BEHIND BARS!
Chief Weber says that Fata’s case was the most egregious case of fraud and deception he has seen in his career. According to him:
“Dr. Fata not only defrauded the government out of millions of dollars, but he lied to his patients about their health and intentionally put their lives at risk. In fact, because of his lies, some of those patients who he was entrusted to care for likely died as a result of his actions. This defendant greedily cared more about his own financial well-being than the lives of his patients. This disgusting and diabolical scheme has hurt hundreds of patients and their families and stolen from them something that no punishment from the court can do to make them whole,”
WORDS FROM FATA’S PATIENTS
Donald Crabtree, one of the patients of Fata, who did have cancer spoke out in court. Mariette, Crabtree’s wife, loudly read a statement in court:
“None of the tumors were helped – they increased in number, they increased in size… I believe Dr. Fata knowingly and purposely treated me for the wrong cancer and gave me the wrong chemotherapy.”
In 2010 to 2013, Chris Sneary went to Fata for testicular cancer treatment.
“I gave full and total trust to this man to get me and my family through this journey I was about to begin. Dr. Fata took full advantage of my trust in him, my fear of dying and, most of all, my top of the line health insurance.”
There are some talks that some of Fata’s previous patients have a chance of filing claims and perhaps may receive a certain amount from the funds he collected from private insurance companies and Medicare.
Since February 2015, Fata has been serving at a prison in Michigan.