Wednesday, May 01, 2019

"Immoral and barbaric"

That was Judge Bob Scola in his recusal order discussing United Health's decision not to cover proton radiation treatment. More:
In early 2017, the Court was diagnosed with prostate cancer. In
determining the best course of treatment, the Court consulted with top medical
experts throughout the country. All the experts opined that if I opted for
radiation treatment, proton radiation was by far the wiser course of action.
Although the Court opted for surgery, rather than radiation, those opinions
still resonant.
Further, a very close friend of the Court was diagnosed with cancer in
2015. He opted to have proton radiation treatment at M.D. Anderson in
Houston. His health care provider, United Healthcare, refused to pay for the
treatment. Fortunately, he had the resources to pay $150,000 for the treatment
and only upon threat of litigation did United Healthcare agree to reimburse
It is undisputed among legitimate medical experts that proton radiation
therapy is not experimental and causes much less collateral damage than
traditional radiation. To deny a patient this treatment, if it is available, is
immoral and barbaric.
The Court’s opinions in this matter prevent it from deciding this case
fairly and impartially.

Thankfully Judge Scola is healthy again. And what an amazing order.


Anonymous said...

Will be interesting to see to which judge the case is reassigned and his or her take.

the trialmaster said...

Is it not ironic that Cole's firm fights Plaintiffs on behalf of insurance companies and his own heath insurance company refuses coverage to him.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, is it grounds to recuse if a judge believes that rape and murder are immoral and barbaric? Of course not. Judge Scola should have kept the case.

Anonymous said...

10:03 must be a prosecutor.
The issue in a rape or a murder trial is whether the Defendant committed the crime, not whether people are allowed to rape or murder.

Anonymous said...

11:13 - I think you're missing the point. I believe that some of our judges think that those who commit rape or murder are immoral. It is the same determination-just like Judge Scola believes that insurance companies who deny certain coverages are immoral some may think rapists and murderers are immoral.

Figg said...

Good of an example as any that sometimes judges should abandon the awkwardness inherent in referring to themselves as "the Court." Particularly in the context of a recusal order based on personal bias, the depersonalized third-person makes for awkward reading and nothing more. "[T]he Court was diagnosed with prostate cancer"? Much in the same way justices allow themselves more wordplay and colloquialism in dissents, for things like this it would be nice to see judges shake off the cumbersome, unnecessary formalities.