UK Mesothelioma Patient Treated like ‘Human Guinea Pig’ by Hospital before Death

An investigation into the actions of doctors at a UK hospital has corroborated claims that a mesothelioma patient was treated like “a human guinea pig” while receiving a drug trial that may have contributed to his eventual death.

According to the Oxford Mail, a coroner acting as part of an investigation by actions made by Churchill Hospital found that a drug trial they administered to 56-year-old Andy Witney, and their subsequent lapses in care for him, may have played a role in his August 2010 death.

Andy had been living with mesothelioma for five years, much longer than the average mesothelioma patients survives once they have been diagnosed. However, once he began receiving a drug trial at the hospital, his health quickly began to decline. Within days of taking the drugs, Andy had lost the use of his legs, and was suffering from uncontrollable diarrhea.

Furthermore, doctors at the hospital balked at giving him medications to help the side effects subside. This culminated in Andy’s wife Karen walking into his room and finding him unclothed and covered in his own feces. She ended up tending to many of Andy’s needs, as staff shortages prevented doctors from helping him as much as was needed. Only 12 days after he began his trial drug treatment, Andy passed away.

The investigation also found doctors at the hospital who admitted that they should have prescribed higher doses of medication to Andy sooner to help stave off the side effects he has suffered from. Additionally, a coroner ruled that while Andy’s cause of death was mesothelioma, the trial drugs and untreated side effects may have played a role as well.

Living with the day-to-day hardships of mesothelioma – whether it is you or a loved one who has been diagnosed with the illness – is both emotionally and financially taxing for all who are involved. If you feel that a former employer may be responsible for the asbestos exposure that led to an illness, or that a hospital is not providing the proper treatment, contact a mesothelioma attorney to learn about filing a mesothelioma lawsuit.