A 62-year-old Florida man was referred to a urologist by his primary care physician after noting an elevated PSA. The urologist noted the elevated PSA, but no biopsy was scheduled.
The patient returned 4 months later, and his PSA was the same. No biopsy was scheduled. Nine months later, the primary care doctor noted the PSA was further elevated. A biopsy was then done and confirmed aggressive prostate cancer, which had metastasized and was incurable. A year later, while undergoing treatment for the cancer, the man committed suicide, leaving a note that the treatments were grueling.
In the malpractice case that was filed on behalf of the man’s estate, it was alleged the urologist should have performed a biopsy at the first appointment and it was negligent to not perform one with the elevated PSA. Had the cancer been discovered earlier, treatment would not have been so aggressive and grueling because the cancer would not have progressed so far.
The urologist argued that he did recommend a biopsy at both appointments with the patient, but he declined, stating that he had a biopsy before and it was too painful. The urologist also maintained the patient had metastatic cancer when he first met with him. The jury rendered a defense verdict after deliberating 10 minutes at the conclusion of a 5-day trial.
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