There’s been a lot of Monday-morning quarterbacking over Steve Jobs’ seemingly less-than-genius decision to put off cancer surgery and try a vegan diet and various alternative medicines instead. By the time Jobs finally had the surgery, the cancer had spread to his liver, and he told his biographer he regretted waiting. But Jobs’ friend and doctor Dean Ornish tells the New York Times that he thinks Jobs made a reasonable, informed decision—even though Ornish himself advocated immediate surgery.
"This type of surgery is a big deal and not to be taken lightly. He had surgery when he decided it was what he wanted to do," Ornish said. "Nobody could have been more thoughtful and intelligent about how he went about this"—a process that included talking to physicians and scientists around the globe. "No one can say whether or not having surgery earlier would have made any difference," he concludes. Other doctors not connected to Jobs agreed there’s no way to know if a quicker surgery would have helped, with one saying that it sounds likely the cancer had already spread to the liver when it was first discovered. (Read more Dean Ornish stories.)