Judge recuses himself from health insurance cancer-denial case because he considers the company "immoral" and "barbaric"

that will never happen because a critical mass white males over 55 already care more about hating brown people than they care about surviving.


And he will be replaced by a judge who gives insurance company executives colonic tongue baths.


Magic is overrated anyway. But reform is a necessary first step.

I’m not given to magical thinking. Whatever in my reply might have given you that impression, be assured it’s incorrect.

My reply was sincere. Sympathy is a fine sentiment, but without action to follow it’s merely that.

X-ray radiotherapy is agonizing. PBT far less so, and whether or not it’s more effective at killing cancerous tissue than X-ray therapy, it’s more targeted nature kills less healthy tissue.

While my own cancer required only a thyroidectomy, PBT is a treatment we should be working to make available to patients without tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars in disposable income.

It most certainly does. I’m glad your loved one’s who’ve had cancer survived it. I cannot say the same about all my family and friends.


My Dad spent many decades as a physician. Back in the 70s he was completely against “socialized medicine.” By the end of his career he believed that single payer or single provider were the only moral and medically effective choices.


I hope you’re wrong, but it’s a distinct possibility.


OK, you’ve cited a Wikipedia article which says in the second line “As of 2012 there have been no controlled trials …” 2012 was 7 years ago.


Why doesn’t this post carry the Guillotine Watch tag? Shirley if any deserve such an honor…


Seriously, and stop calling me Shirley!


If it wasn’t for the recognizable actors, I would have mistaken this for a very frank PSA.


Hi Zenkat! The NHS may once have been a “Single-payer public health provider”, but Conservative politicians have been whittling away at it for fifty years, and it is suffering the death of a thousand cuts. It no longer meets the internationally agreed criteria for a social healthcare system. There is even talk of adopting an American system “when Brexit goes through”. Are we (in the UK) horrified and disgusted? You bet we are!


The NHS denied a kid PBT.
Expensive is expensive regardless of your funding model.

I guess that photon beam treatment is on the that edge between exotic and costly, and common and “cheap” (by medical standards). So long at there are only a few machines, the medical managers will charge top dollar; partially to reclaim the costs of early adoption, and partially because that is their standard operating procedure. Apparently, unlike in Pro-Wrestling, the Big Med is perfectly fine with gouging.

@tsath >And he will be replaced by a judge who gives insurance company executives colonic tongue baths.

I wonder if that would open up a route for a retrial based on pro-Insurance grounds? How would they find a judge who, somehow falls right on the point of indifference?

@Fred_Cairns If you are in need of some light relief to recharge your chuckle-cells, you might try reading the reviews reviews of our next threatened Prime-minister’s book.


You’re partly right and partly wrong.
First. The figures are for ‘external beam therapy’ which includes xray. Proton beam is similar in it’s effectiveness to Xray.
However, prostatectomy is far more effective. Which as I understand is what the patients got.
So if you are talking long term survival and better prognosis, a prostatectomy is better. Maybe not for quality of life, but for the key benefit of keeping a person alive.
As for Proton beam vs focused xray ( intensity modulated X-rays (IMRT) ) vs xray.
Dose to 50% of the heart volume was reduced from 72.2% for conventional X-rays to 29.5% for IMRT and 0.5% for protons.


My name’s not Shirley and I didn’t call you.

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IIRC (and I cannot find the original stories right now) his doctors recommended a different treatment and were far from convinced PBT would benefit him. At the time, PBT may not have been available on the NHS, but only as a private treatment - I am not sure. But as of 2018 the NHS does provide PBT for recommended cases. I believe there are 2 centres in the UK soon to grow to perhaps 6.

As it turned out I believe he did benefit from it after his parents removed him from UK and had it done abroad. Never heard what the longer term prognosis/outcome was.


I believe that at the time there was not a PBT centre in the UK, but it was available to NHS patients if deemed medically necessary (in which case the NHS would pay for the patient to travel to another country to have the treatment).

And yes, the doctors in the case you’re talking about were recommending conventional radiotherapy, the parents wanted PBT due to the reduced side-effects.

Incidentally, he is now free of cancer and doing well.


Yes no matter what healthcare system we have, there will be bureaucrats making decisions based at least in part on cost. But I think that I would rather trust government bureaucrats that are answerable to politicians who are ultimately answerable to voters more than corporate bureaucrats ultimately answerable to shareholders.


Agreed. I couldn’t find the original articles when searching, but did find plenty of positive articles confirming that NHS now offers it with happy patients as a result.
Just wanted to let US based BoingBoingers know that socialized medicine doesn’t always guarantee you the latest treatment either. There is a cut off point for either model.


Funny! But you’re right, of course. I imagine one way out of the mire is economics of scale – maybe if enough studies are done showing efficacy, enough of these machines will be made to reduce costs some, and provide some competition (assuming for-profit medicine continues). And perhaps single-payer will solve the problem (hah).


But if a company is immoral and barbaric, and a judge correctly judges them to be immoral and barbaric, then it seems to me that his judgement is pretty good and he shouldn’t recuse himself. (Yeah, I know; but still.)

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