The head of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute told his staff he and the hospital "strongly disagree" with a jury's $13.5 million award to the family of a 40-year-old Hopkinton woman who died following experimental chemotherapy.
In an e-mail message sent yesterday, Dana-Farber president Dr. Edward J. Benz also expressed regret and sympathy while suggesting the jury might not understand the complexities of cancer. Here is his message:
To Dana-Farber staff:
You may see or hear news reports that yesterday, a Suffolk Superior Court jury returned to the family of a Dana-Farber patient a large award in a lawsuit against two Dana-Farber physicians.
We deeply regret what happened in this case and sympathize with the patientís family and friends. Nevertheless, I want you to know that we strongly disagree with this verdict and firmly believe that the physicians involved provided a high standard of care.
We all know that cancer is a terrible disease that still claims far too many lives. Unfortunately, even as we work intensely to develop newer, more effective treatments, we arenít always successful and complications can arise. That does not mean that we did anything wrong, something that juries less familiar with the complexities of cancer and cancer care donít always
This case is a powerful reminder that we all must pull together and support our caregivers and our patients and families as we continue to fight this deadly disease.
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|White Coat Notes covers the latest from the health care industry, hospitals, doctors offices, labs, insurers, and the corridors of government. Chelsea Conaboy previously covered health care for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Write her at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter: @cconaboy.|
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