Queens NY Medical Malpractice: NYU doctors sued for cancerous kidney transplant

05/18/2010 // West Palm Beach, Florida, USA // Sandra Quinlan // Sandra Quinlan

Queens, NY—A medical malpractice trial was set to begin today, Tuesday, May 18, 2010, with regard to a kidney transplant that went horribly wrong. The widow of a man who died of uterine cancer following an organ transplant filed a lawsuit against the doctors who performed the procedure, as reported by the New York Daily News.

Dr. Thomas Diflo, a Harvard-educated specialist in organ transplant at NYU Medical Center allegedly learned key information concerning the donor from whom the kidney originated. According to the New York Organ Donor Network, the donor was an upstate woman who died of uterine cancer. The kidney, which was allegedly “covered in tumors”, was then transplanted into 37-year-old Vincent Liew.

The Queens man initially suffered from diabetes-induced kidney damage, thus requiring him to use dialysis machines to manage his condition. Liew was reportedly placed on a waiting list for five years before receiving a call in February 2002. In that call, a NYU nurse apparently notified Vincent’s wife Kim of the opportunity, stating, “Congratulations… We have a kidney that matches your husband. Please rush to the hospital right now.”

However, Liew’s condition did not improve after the February 24, 2002 operation. After the transplant, Kim recalled her husband screaming, “This is my body… I want this organ out of my body.” Seemingly unable to handle the excruciating pain, Vincent had the kidney removed in August 2002.

The couple was then notified that Vincent had contracted uterine cancer, a deadly ailment usually limited to women. Kim Liew noted, “They made up a lot of excuses… They told us the kidney is not adapting to his body. They didn’t tell me he had cancer.” NYU doctors also reportedly asserted the chance of Liew contracting the uterine cancer was a less than 1 percent chance, given that he did not have a uterus.

Nonetheless, Liew sadly died in September 2002. An autopsy revealed his cause of death was indeed uterine cancer, originally found on the transplanted kidney.

According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, organs are not supposed to originate from a donor who died of cancer. While an NYU spokesperson would not comment on the pending litigation, reports noted NYU filed a separate suit regarding the incident. NYU apparently sued St. Lukes Cornwall Hospital for failing to adequately screen the lethal kidney.

Kim Liew stated, “He wanted people to know that this shouldn’t happen again… We want justice to be done for what happened. It’s a torture waiting for this case to be over so I can go on with my life… He was not furious. He said we have to accept it. To the day he died, he forgave these people.”

The case continues.

Legal News Reporter: Sandra Quinlan- Legal News for New York Medical Malpractice Lawyers.

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