Man Receives Kidney Transplant . . . Only To Develop Cancer From the Kidney

We have another story of a hospital implanting a cancerous organ. (For a prior such story, click here) Bob Warzel, 66, was given a new kidney a year ago only to learn that he now has cancer from the organ transplanted by the UNC Hospitals.

The diseased organ was acquired by Duke University Medical Center from a young man who died in an auto accident. Another patient received the second kidney, but his body rejected it — it was only then that the cancer was discovered. The Warzels complain that they were met with a wall of silence in trying to learn what happened. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA is now being used by hospitals to bar such admissions of culpability.

I have also seen this unintended use of HIPAA in depositions where the defendants refused to reveal incriminating facts on the basis of privacy.

For the full story, click here.

Kudos: Lauren Watson

6 thoughts on “Man Receives Kidney Transplant . . . Only To Develop Cancer From the Kidney

  1. I did not know that the Hospital held the privilege. I was most certain that the patient held it and this is, Duke after all. See what Tobacco Money can do for you?

  2. The kidney transplanted had cancer present – lymphoma – but Bob Warzel, 66, “who had the donated organ removed has not developed the lymphoma evidenced in the kidney…he had chemotherapy last June after his doctors at UNC Hospitals removed the cancerous kidney. He has undergone frequent tests to check whether the cancer has taken root, and so far remains free of the disease.”

    If the donor and organ donated met all of the pre-screening standards required prior to transplantation I don’t see why Duke does not share this data. Hiding behind HIPPA is a PR cop-out and needlessly increases anxiety in the patient, family and community.

    I hope Mr. Warzel’s kidneys continue to function, avoiding dialysis and I wonder if he is now considered unable to be a candidate for a second transplant, as his exposure to cancer from this donor may even further increase the risk of his developing cancer when placed on the immunosuppressants necessary to block rejection post-op.

    People don’t want government involved in their health care but independent oversight of Medical practice and Hospitals is abysmal. Organ transplantation generates a lot of profit in the system and providers need to be held accountable.

  3. I wonder what happened to the other patient, the one who rejected the donor kidney thereby leading to the discovery of the presence of cancer in the organ? I hope they are okay, although that may be what is contributing to Duke hiding.

  4. Update to this thread with a similar story.

    Family sues after transplant recipient gets cancer from kidney

    Some 23 transplant recipients in 2007 — out of about 28,000 recipients nationwide that year — were judged to have at least possibly contracted cancers, HIV, tuberculosis and other diseases from their donors….

    http://www2.tbo.com/content/2010/may/27/271903/family-sues-after-transplant-recipient-gets-cancer/news-breaking/

    I wonder if the attorney for the family is any kin to Joey?

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