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

A couple of newer publications via PubMed:

Dutz et. al. (2019)


Overall, IMRT and PBT were well tolerated. Despite the superiority of PBT in early constipation and IMRT in late global health status compared to baseline, overall QoL and the risks of early and late GU and GI toxicities were similar for conventionally fractionated IMRT and PBT.

Kamran, et. al. (2019)


Present data have demonstrated that proton beam therapy is safe and effective compared with the standard treatment options for prostate cancer. While dosimetric studies suggest lower whole-body radiation dose and a theoretically higher relative biological effectiveness in prostate cancer compared with photons, no studies have demonstrated a clear benefit with protons.


Evolving trends in proton treatment delivery and proton center business models are helping to reduce costs. Introduction of existing technology into proton delivery allows further control of organ motion and addressing organs-at-risk. Finally, the much-awaited contemporary studies comparing photon with proton-based treatments, with primary endpoints of patient-reported quality-of-life, will help us understand the differences between proton and photon-based treatments for prostate cancer in the modern era.

Seems like even in publications from the last few months, there is no clinical evidence for the superiority of PBT and a wish for more studies.

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Except that in US even if you were recommended for the latest treatment you’d almost certainly be looking at a large personal ‘contribution’ to its funding, and the denial of treatment comes from an insurer not a doctor.
In UK, recommendation for treatment comes from a doctor who is not beholden to an insurer any more than the patient is, and who is only bound to observe NICE (regulator) and NHS (provider) rules, and if you qualify for it there is no cost to you (i.e. no ‘co-pay’)
But your core point about ‘not everything is approved, available (and thus free)’ remains.


I’m with you. Does every judge who has a background as a corporate attorney recuse themselves from cases where one of the parties is a corporation?


I thought that in the instant case, the recused judge had had advance authorization for a claim denied by the defendant. Judges who have done legal work for corporations recuse themselves from cases involving those specific corporations all the time, and sometimes they are called into question because their former law firms did work for a party, even if the judges themselves were unaware of it.


The article says “his own insurer” when referring to the judge, which implies it wasn’t UHC. It did say he talked with a friend who, in a similar situation, was denied coverage by UHC.

It could be that he also simply believed that he could not be impartial.

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Clearly, though that doesn’t change my question. Shouldn’t a judge who spent a significant amount of his career as a corporate attorney or representing corporate clients have a similar reason to recuse themselves?

There is still a difference beween ‘I’ve worked in this industry’ and ‘I know someone who was grifted by this very defendant.’ It’s not obvious that a judge who formerly represented, say, Boeing or Apple would not be able to sit impartially in judgment at a trial involving UHC.

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As biased as the judge in the example, when going against a non-corporate entity? Yes.

Stats seem to be in favor of the corrupting influence of pro-business judges getting big donations from corporations, while often being selected from the corporate ranks or from pro-corporate law firms (sorry, it’s a little dated):

Oh yes. I read the reviews. It confirms my impression of the right-wing’s conspicuous lack of intellectual rigour. Thanks for the heads-up, though. I do sometimes miss these things.


Yeah - so the five year study should be complete, written up, and bound in leather on shelves by now.

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The judge should have stayed on the case, that is unfair. So, if he was overseeing Ted Bundy, would he have recused himself because he started to consider the possibility Ted Bundy might be immoral and barbaric?

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yeah, you DON’T want the “american system”
That just kills people.

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As an American it’s always the most surreal thing hearing my Canadian friends bitch and moan about their healthcare costs.

“I had some pain in my foot so I went to the doctor. Turned out it was an ingrown toenail. They cut it out. And you know what they charged me? FORTY FUCKN DOLLARS! THIS WHOLE THING IS A RIPOFF!”

yeah buddy, minor surgery like that in the USA starts at hundreds of dollars and only goes up.

“I had to take an ambulance to the hospital when I had heart problems and that was 80 dollars! This system fucks you man!”


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