May
25
 

The man who didn’t die

A Montana man brain cancer diagnosis shows how difficult it is to determine whether or not a person has a “terminal illness”. Mark Templin was awarded US$59,000 for expenses and emotional stress after his doctor wrongly told him in 2009 that he had only six months to live. “It is difficult to put a price tag on the anguish of a man wrongly convinced of his impending death,” said the judge. “Mr. Templin lived for 148 days … under the mistaken impression that he was dying of metastatic brain cancer.”

One of Templin’s daughters asked the doctor how her father would die and “he explained one of the tumors would grow ‘like cauliflower’ and Templin would die from a brain bleed.”

After that disturbing diagnosis, Mr Templin sold his truck and quit his job. He put his affairs in order and displayed a large sign in his home saying “Do Not Resuscitate”. His family held a “last birthday” dinner for him and he paid for a funeral service. His son-in-law made a wooden box for his ashes. He entered a hospice for dying patients.

He even considered shooting himself to spare himself and his family the pain of a terminal illness.

However, Mr Templin began to get better, not worse. He booked himself out of the hospice and had more tests. These revealed that he had had a stroke and that he did not have a brain tumour.

A judge ordered that Fort Harrison Veterans Affairs Medical Center pay Mr Templin $59,000 for the distress that the diagnosis had caused and to reimburse him for his “last” birthday celebration and his pre-arranged funeral.



This article is published by Michael Cook and BioEdge.org under a Creative Commons licence. You may republish it or translate it free of charge with attribution for non-commercial purposes following these guidelines. If you teach at a university we ask that your department make a donation. Commercial media must contact us for permission and fees. Some articles on this site are published under different terms.

comments powered by Disqus
 

 Search BioEdge

 Subscribe to BioEdge newsletter
rss Subscribe to BioEdge RSS feed


 Recent Posts
Trump Administration’s ‘conscience rule’ blocked by federal judge
10 Nov 2019
US researchers trial deep brain stimulation for opioid use
10 Nov 2019
Who ‘pulls the plug’ for an abused child?
10 Nov 2019
We need a national male reproductive health policy, say researchers
10 Nov 2019
Major gaps persist in knowledge of the practice of assisted suicide and euthanasia
10 Nov 2019

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | rss RSS | Archive | Bookmark and Share | michael@bioedge.org

BioEdge - New Media Foundation Ltd © 2004 - 2019