Healthcare News & Insights

Woman sues after two years of treatment for non-existent cancer

Learning you don’t have cancer is usually good news — but after two years of tortuous treatment for a disease she didn’t have, this patient is suing for big money. Ramona Jimenez, now 85, visited Brookhaven Memorial Hospital in New York two years ago, complaining of a stomachache. She was told she had stomach and lung cancer, with an estimated two months left to live.

Jimenez’s cancer was supposedly inoperable and too advanced to respond to chemotherapy. She was set up with in-home hospice care which consisted primarily of a cocktail of prescriptions as well as heavy doses of morphine to help with pain.

Jimenez says the drugs, especially the morphine, caused her to lose mental sharpness, impeded her mobility and triggered hallucinations.

Over time, as Jimenez’s condition showed no response to the drugs, and no sign of the cancer advancing, her family asked doctors and visiting nurses for more tests to see what was going on. According to the family, their request was turned down each time.

Eventually, Jimenez’s family brought her to Stony Brook University Hospital, where tests showed no evidence of cancer.

Jimenez is now off all her medications, with the exception of the morphine which must be gradually tapered off, and she reports that her mind is sharper and she has more energy.

The family plans to sue Brookhaven for the misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment. Brookhaven wouldn’t comment on the case, citing patient privacy.

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