Interviewer: So when you say, Doctor, there's no money in curing disease, pharmacies . . . pharmaceuticals, do they perpetuate disease then, in your opinion?
Dr. Michael D. Farley: In everything I've seen, in all the autopsies I've done - and I've done several, more than I can count of cancer patients - not one of them died of cancer. Quote, "Cancer."
Dr. Michael D. Farley: They died of liver failure. They died of cardiac failure, renal failure all due to chemotherapy. I remember I had an internist and a hospitalist as one of my students, and she studied with me for about seven months, eight months. And we got a patient that had been through chemo and radiation, and they had cooked her liver and cooked her kidneys. Her father had been a surgeon that had switched to psychiatry, and he called me up and he says, "Anything you can do for my daughter?"
Dr. Michael D. Farley: And we looked at the blood work and realized she had no organ function, to speak of, left. And I said, "We can make her more comfortable, but the radiation treatment that they used on her has actually destroyed her organs." And so we did what we could.
She'd been given three weeks. We gave her six months, and she got time to say good-bye to her family. But I remember walking into the office the morning after she'd passed, and this internist was sitting on the waiting room couch. We hadn't opened yet. And I said, "What's the problem?" And she looked at me and she said, "I'm doing the death certificate and I don't know what to write for cause of death." I said, "You might try writing the truth for a change." And she looked at me and said, "You know how much trouble I can get in by doing that." I said, "If you're going to study with me, you're going to write the truth. If not, go on home."
Dr. Michael D. Farley: And she wrote, "Radiation poisoning, cause of death." She's the only doctor I've ever seen do that. She actually had the courage to tell the truth. Gosh forbid that you should ever change a cause of death at a University hospital when you're doing autopsies. That will get you out of pathology faster than you can blink.
Dr. Michael Farley talks about the damage caused by cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation. He shares an interesting story about a cancer patient and a student working under him and the difficult choice one had to make.
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