C., a resident of the north of the country in her forties, was diagnosed with breast cancer about five years ago. During a routine checkup at the HMO, the doctor diagnosed that there was a suspicion of breast cancer and he sent her for a checkup at a hospital at her place of residence. At Hospital C, she was sent for a pathological examination, the doctors took a biopsy from her, and after deciphering it, they determined that it was indeed breast cancer and that she had to undergo chemotherapy.
“My whole world was devastating at those moments, but I believed what the doctors said. I had no other reason to doubt the biopsy results they did for me,” said G., who underwent a series of harsh chemotherapy treatments when doctors had to amputate part of her breast.
A few weeks later, another biopsy was performed on part of the excised breast and doctors were surprised to find that it was not a cancerous tumor but a benign tumor of the fibroendoma type (a benign and common breast tumor in young women. It is characterized by a lump that is not painful but uncomfortable).
“I was in utter shock to have undergone unnecessary chemotherapy and surgery to remove part of my breast,” C. claimed in the lawsuit she filed, “for an entire year I had to deal with the erroneous fact that I had a malignant disease. I went into severe anxiety.”
Hard and unnecessary treatments
Through attorney Keren Cohen, C. filed a lawsuit in the Haifa Magistrate’s Court against the hospital where she underwent the treatments and the HMO of which she is a member (due to a confidentiality agreement signed in court between the parties, their names cannot be published). The doctors who mistakenly diagnosed her with breast cancer further stated in the statement of claim that the process of diagnosing the biopsy was superficial and not in accordance with accepted practice.
The lawsuit also revealed that a pathologist was not present during the consultations between the hospital’s doctors and the HMO, as is appropriate and accepted in such cases, which could have prevented the entire mastectomy procedure and the difficult chemotherapy treatments she underwent.
Kofach and the hospital filed a letter of defense in which they denied a large part of G.’s claims. Recently, G.’s attorney, Adv. Keren Cohen, reached a secret settlement, according to which Kofach and the hospital will compensate the plaintiff in the amount of NIS 850,000.