On Friday, Dr. Farid Fata was sentenced to 45 years in prison in the state of Michigan.
If you read or watch the news reports you would think the reason behind his long sentence had something to do with the fact that he had diagnosed 500+ people with cancer they didn’t really have, told them they needed chemo, then treated them for those cancers they didn’t have. As a result many died, some will deal with the aftermaths of unneeded chemo for the rest of their lives, some are ruined financially in medical debt, and worse.
The headlines read things like,
He did do those things. Horrible, cruel, heinous crimes against those victims and society that hit way too close to home for me. He is a despicable human being and deserves many more than 45 years in prison, in my not-so-humble opinion.
But here’s what most of us are missing:
Fata wasn’t found guilty, nor will be be imprisoned, because any of those people suffered. He isn’t paying the price for anything related to the heartbreak, fear, mental or emotional anguish he put those patients and their families through. His legal-guilt has nothing – NOTHING – to do with the physical, mental or emotional horrors of his crime.
No. Instead he is going to prison because he defrauded the government and Blue Cross-Blue Shield out of money. His crimes were money crimes. According to CNN, “He pleaded guilty to 13 counts of Medicare fraud, one count of conspiracy to pay or receive kickbacks and two counts of money laundering.” According to the Detroit News, the amounts total $34 million.
Could Fata have been stopped? Yes, he most certainly could have.
In fact, I will go out on a limb and say that all 553 patients could have avoided what happened to them. Every one of them could have gotten the care they needed, and avoided the care they did not need …