Is Kidney Transplant Recipient’s Death A Case Of Medical Malpractice?

Jurors began deliberating a unique case that happened to a man who had gotten a kidney transplant from a woman donor who had uterine cancer.

The case of medical malpractice was filed against NYU Langone Medical Center.

Vincent Liew, the kidney patient decided to keep the kidney after his transplant surgeon concluded that there was a slim chance he could be sickened by the feminine cancer.

That surgeon advice gambled Liew’s life and lost, a lawyer of his widow told jurors during deliberation. Experts has said , it may be the only known case of a woman donor with cancer transmitted by transplant to a male patient.

According to NYU Langone Medical Center who carried out the transplant, it has advised Liew of the risk, honored his choice and aggressively monitored the kidney for signs of cancer. Though tests found nothing, Liew suffered back pain and ultimately had the kidney removed about six months later after the transplant in 2002.

He died about three weeks later of cancer that came from his donor, his autopsy revealed, without specifying the type of cancer that Liew succumbed. He was 37 when he died.

Liew’s widow, Kimberly is seeking more than US $3 million dollars in damages in her lawsuit against the hospital.
Liew, originally from Singapore, worked in the Hong Kong Economics and Trade Office in New York. A diabetic since his teens who was on a three times a week kidney dialysis, he had been awaiting a kidney for about five years when he got the transplant on February 25, 2002.

The donor, Sandy Cabrera 50 had died of a stroke about a day earlier in Newburgh, New York. An autopsy in the days after her death found that she had uterine cancer that had begun to spread to her lungs.

According to trial testimony, the news didn’t reach the hospital surgeon not until mid of April 2002. The celebrated case of medical malpractice is a long standing question of risk and reward about organ transplant.

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