Doctor Who Gave Chemo to Healthy Patients Learns Fate

Dr. Farid Fata is handed a 45-year sentence
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2015 2:15 PM CDT
Chemotherapy is administered to a cancer patient via intravenous drip in this stock photo.   (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

(Newser) – A doctor who did anything but adhere to his Hippocratic Oath will spend decades in prison for the harm he inflicted on his unsuspecting patients. Dr. Farid Fata was today sentenced to 45 years in prison for what US District Judge Paul Borman described as a "a huge, horrific series of criminal acts" that allowed the Detroit cancer doctor to reap $17.6 million in fraudulent billings. He told healthy patients they had cancer and then treated them for that supposed ailment; others were under- or over-treated, reports the Free Press, which cites one patient subjected to five years of chemo versus the typical six months. The Detroit News reports both the prosecution and defense agreed that some 553 people may have been improperly treated by the 50-year-old.

Fata sobbed in court, and offered an apology: "I misused my talents ... because of power and greed. I stand before you ashamed of my actions ... it all went wrong. I pray for redemption. ... I ask the court for mercy." Borman—who the AP reports "heard stories of brittle bones and fried organs" from survivors this week—could have sentenced the doctor to 30 years to life. US Attorney Barbara McQuade expressed disappointment, emphasizing that "nothing short of a life sentence was appropriate in this case," though she noted that "for a defendant who is 50 years old, that is close to a life sentence." The federal system does not offer parole, so other than the potential for a minimal adjustment for good behavior, the News notes Fata will serve his time. (Here are some of the tales of woe from Fata's patients.)

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