Until you've heard the biopsy results, just say no. ~ The De Niro Case ~ What's your take?

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Tony Crispino
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8122
   Posted 3/14/2008 9:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi All,
This might be useless information, then again it might not be.  In the link below Robert De Niro was sued for insurance to pay on one of his projects while he was out getting treated for prostate cancer.  Apparently the delays represented a cost of 1.8 million for one of his movies because he was being treated.  The insurance claimed he withheld information on his prostate by check "No" to prostate disease on the application.  His biopsy results were two days later.  The court decided for him, that at that time he did not know if he had prostate disease.  Lessen here, until they've told you for sure, you don't have this disease in the courts eyes.
  
 
Tony


Age 45 (44 when Dx)
Pre-op PSA was 19.8
Surgery on Feb 16, 2007
Post-Op Pathology: Gleason 4+3=7, positive margins, Stage pT3b (Stage III)
HT began in May, '07 with Lupron and Casodex 50mg
IMRT radiation for 38 Treatments ending August 3, '07
Current PSA (1/08): <0.1
I will continue HT until May '09. 
Visit my Journey at:
 
STAY POSITIVE!
 
Prostate Cancer Forum Moderator

Post Edited (TC-LasVegas) : 3/15/2008 3:25:45 PM (GMT-6)


Swimom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1732
   Posted 3/15/2008 2:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Mr. DeNiro pulled a pretty dishonest fast one. Not often do I agree with insurance companies about anything but, this man (and the film company) had everything to gain by lying. It's a shame we pay for rates which reflect this type of thing. Courts had no choice in the matter. We're a system of man made laws. The bad guys were simply the slyer fox.....this time.

Swim
 


Tony Crispino
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8122
   Posted 3/15/2008 9:41 AM (GMT -7)   
I need help here.
Exactly what did De Niro do that was wrong? We all say here until you hear you have the disease you dont, the court said until you hear you have the disease you don't. Are you saying or is there another article out there that says he lied or was dishonest? The insurance company acknowledges that De Niro did not have confirmation of any disease. Should he have suffered the financial losses and yet find that he was negative in a biopsy? The insurer makes quite a bit of money from the film industry and I'm sure they will insure many more films because...it's very profitable. If I applied for a job and under physical disabilities or physical things that could prevent me from doing my job and I had not yet received the results from my biopsy, I would say NO. Even though the urologist had pulled the biopsy samples I was told that there was nothing definitive. I searched the web to find if there was anything definitive about De Niro's actions being deceitful and I could find nothing. Now if he knew he had prostate cancer and had the results then lied on the certificate then insurer would have won the suit. The insurance company fully acknowledged that De Niro did NOT know if he had PCa in their suit and wanted out of the contract. Unless I have more information I would side with De Niro.

Tony


Age 45 (44 when Dx)
Pre-op PSA was 19.8
Surgery on Feb 16, 2007
Post-Op Pathology: Gleason 4+3=7, positive margins, Stage pT3b (Stage III)
HT began in May, '07 with Lupron and Casodex 50mg
IMRT radiation for 38 Treatments ending August 3, '07
Current PSA (1/08): <0.1
I will continue HT until May '09. 
Visit my Journey at:
 
STAY POSITIVE!
 
Prostate Cancer Forum Moderator

Post Edited (TC-LasVegas) : 3/16/2008 12:16:43 PM (GMT-6)


Swimom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1732
   Posted 3/15/2008 12:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh sheesh!!!! He knew cancer was suspected and he knew he had a diagnostic test done. Was the disclosure (result) of his biopsy manipulated to suit the needs of others....Only DeNiro and company could say for sure. The court sided with DeNiro because that is how our system is designed....proof must be in da puddin! Fireman's fund being rich is not the point...So is DeNiro :>0 The Ins. Co, Fireman's Fund, could not prove a thing therefore, DeNiro was the winner. Tis the way it is :>)

Swim
 


Tony Crispino
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8122
   Posted 3/15/2008 1:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Yea I guess. But even for me with a PSA near 20 and a biopsy done and awaiting results, should I have stopped my business because I pretty much suspected it would be positive? I didn't even know at the biopsy disclosure what was next. Would I miss timem off was not a for sure at any point before the positive. We always tell our newbies or potential PCa newbies that you don't know for sure stay positive. I would not change that across any demographic. Mr. De Niro went through what we went through. Scared, not knowing, unsure, learning, etc. In his business the show must go on. He had to keep his production going, reserving the actors and actresses, set folks and everybody else including the insurance he is required to have. Did he manipulate his biopsy dates? That's a felony. But insurer acknowledged in writing that they did not suspect that he knew about it, just that he, like you say, might have been better to disclose the possibility he had it. Who's more dishonest? This is to me a perfect example of an insurance company attempting to litigate to cut it's losses.

When I posted this I did not have an opinion on it. Just an acknowledgement on where the court says it is. But after thinking about it, shame on the insurer for attempting to litigate a cancer occurance.  I don't believe had De Niro disclosed a pending biopsy that the insurer would have turned away the business. At worst they may have added a rider to what they would have covered.  They were just looking for an opportunity to save on the 1.8mil.  Had their lawyers won they would have done just that.

Wow, what a gray area...
 
Also a nice write up from 2003 on the De Niro case and prostate cancer contraversy:

Post Edited (TC-LasVegas) : 3/16/2008 12:21:00 PM (GMT-6)


Swimom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1732
   Posted 3/15/2008 5:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Litigate cancer? The suit was not about cancer at all. DeNiro could have had anything in mid-diagnosis. The litigation was over what an insurnace company originally claimed was an omission. They could not prove it was meant to deceive therefore, the correct side was victorious in this case. It is okay to side with the legal outcome and still not agree with the winner. :>)

Swim
 


James C.
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4461
   Posted 3/16/2008 5:55 AM (GMT -7)   
My take on it: Until he received definite word that the biopsy contained cancer, then he was cancer free. Many other things, such as BPE, a rough DRE before a PSA test, naturally occuring high levels and more can trigger a high PSA, all of which should trigger a biopsy to confirm/exclude cancer. 2 days, 2 weeks or 2 months, it's the same until he gets a definite yes from the pathologist reading the samples. This is almost like being accused of being almost pregnant because you had sex the night before....lol
James C. 
 
Help support the forums so they can support you:  http://www.healingwell.com/donate 
 
Age 60 
4/19/07   PSA 7.6, referred to Urologist, recheck 6.7
7/11/07   Biopsy- 16 core samples, size of gland around 76 cc. Staging pT2c
7/17/07   Path report:  3 of 16 PCa, 5% involved, left lobe , GS 3/3:6. 
9/24/07   (Open) Retropubic Radical Prostatectomy performed 
9/26/07   Post-op Path Report: GS 3+3=6 Staging pT2c, 110gms, margins clear
10/15/07  ED- begin 50mg Viagra and Vacurect pump nightly, Fully continent
11/15/07  1st Post-surgery PSA-0.01
01/14/08  Caverject started/stopped, aching.   .5ml Bimix started-success
 3/24/08   ED- 6 mts.-Viagra, pump, Bimix continues- no response


DanmanBob
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 467
   Posted 3/16/2008 6:40 AM (GMT -7)   

James C took the words right out of my mouth.

My doctors were pretty confident that my high PSA was tied to lingering effects of an infection.  Unfortunately, their confidence was misplaced.

One does not know what one does not know.....so assuming the facts of the case are as presented, I see nothing wrong with anything DeNiro did.

I sure as heck would not have told someone I had prostate cancer before I had biopsy results confirming same.  If the insurance application was a simple yes or no type of thing, then he answered correctly.


Danman Bob
Age 57
Prostate removal November 2007
Gleason score 9, PSA 14
Biopsy result - 9 of 12 sticks showed cancer
Despite high Gleason score, cancer was confined to the prostate
Unrelated surgery January 2008 delayed incontinence recovery, which is now showing good signs of improvement (1 to 2 pads a day)
Began using Osbon Erec-Aid Esteem manual pump for therapy mid-February 2008
Begain using Viagra 3 times a week December 2007 to stimulate blood flow


Ken S
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 120
   Posted 3/16/2008 7:31 AM (GMT -7)   
In defense of Mr. DiNero, how many of us have had more then one biopsy being told on the first one that we are cancer free. For that matter, of the men that have had biopsies what are the percentages of negative compared to positive results for PCa? I don't know the answer but I would suspect more negative then positive. I know personally when I had my first biopsy (negative) two years before my second (positive) I was told and I considered myself to be cancer free even though I was probably not. The fact that you had a biopsy does not mean you have cancer, if that were the case then I also must have colon cancer because I've had a colonoscopy (of course I do not).

Ken
Age 54 (2006)
PSA - 2005 - 3.2, 2006 - 3.7
Biopsy 8/06, Gleason 6 (3+3), T1c
Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy 11/3/06
Post-Op Biopsy, still Gleason 6 (3+3),
T2c, right apical margin positive
CT Scan 1/07, tumor discovered on right
kidney (unrelated to PCa)
Partial Nephrectomy 3/9/07
IMRT (37 Treatments) started 4/23/07
PSA 11/07 - less then 0.01


smilingoldcoot
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 338
   Posted 3/16/2008 8:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Let's not fight over something of so little consequence. 
 
I had 2 biopsy that were both negative and on the third one the doctor was almost certain I did not have cancer but yet 5 days later I was told I not only had cancer but had a Gleason score of 9. 
 
The one thing I have learned with this stuff, there are lots of unknowns.
 
Keep Smiling yeah
 
Richard
Richard & Debbie on The Shores of Toledo Bend Lake Louisiana
11/07 PSA 1.9 PSA 11/08 was 4.9 PSA 12/08 was 7.7 MDA 2/12/08 3.3 On Proscar so shud double
Biospy 1/10/08 Gleason score (4+5)9, Stage T1C or T2C, 8 of 12 samples positive 
Bone scan 1/17/08 hot spot on ribs, CT shows rib enjury CT CHest 1/30/08 Clear
M.D. Anderson appt 2/12/08 CT Abdomin & Pelvis Clear Recommended Hormone&Radiation
2/19/08 Dr Fagin, Austin, TX did not recommend surgery based on medical history
2/22/08 Contacted U of Florida Proton Therapy Institute - Appt 3/13/08
Turn Stumbling Blocks into Steping Stones


Swimom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1732
   Posted 3/16/2008 8:22 AM (GMT -7)   
You guys are so funny!

I'm gettin a chuckle outta this. There's no shortage of used car salesmen in THIS world, that's for sure :>) The man sold a used car, fully aware of what he might be selling and didn't warn the buyer. I am positive the justice system isn't stupid to the likely facts however, we have a system that looks at the it this way.......buyer beware!!!! If ya don't ask and don't have a trusted mechanic give it a once over, ya might get exactly what ya pay for....a car needin a new transmission. It took more than a few bad transmissions to change laws (30 years ago) which minimally protect a buyer from car lots, but not from private sales. Insurance compainies already have written clauses...Oops, forgot one! Bet FF insurance group has made a few changes so they don't have to pay for too many more transmissions in the future :>) Who knows, maybe it'll actually save a life someday :>)

Just gotta ask yerself though...WWJD?

Swim
 


mozart250
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 102
   Posted 3/16/2008 9:24 AM (GMT -7)   

There are two issues here:

(1) What is the correct legal response to the question

(2) What would be the morally ethical response to the question

The correct legal response would be that he did not have cancer.  Remember that there are only two possible answers to the question, yes or no.  Since Mr. DiNiro did not know for sure he had cancer, the only other alternative is no.  In fact he could have had any number of cancers that had not been diagnosed yet, but until he knew of a definite positive diagnosis, the answer would be no.

I will let others decide for themselves what the morally ethical response to this question should be.

 


52 Year Old DBA by profession; amateur pianist by passion.
 
June and Aug 2006:  PSA 4.6.  DRE prostate enlarged.  Second opinion
Sep  2006:  Biopsy results positive one lobe.  Gleason 3+3.
Nov  2006:  RPA performed at Fletcher Allen in Burlington VT.
Nov  2006:  Pathology report: Stage T3a and Gleason 3+4.
Dec  2006:  PSA 0.1
Feb, May  2007:  PSA 0.0 (under 0.1)
Aug, Nov  2007 and Feb 2008:  PSA 0.1
Mar-May  2008:  IMRT Radiation
 
Trying my hand at blogging.


Swimom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1732
   Posted 3/16/2008 10:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Moz,
 
Although I am having a fun time with this one, I do believe the law is on DeNiro's side. That has not been in question. Lady Justice did her job. Not all laws are perfect however, we live in the most free and just society there is in this world. Included in that is free will to do and believe pretty much as we please, abiding by standards we set for ourselves. Wouldn't trade it for anything. There are a few things I also would not do.
 
My sister told me once I had always been a gullible sap. Guess it takes alllll kinds. Doing unto udders isn't a cash cow my children will inherit. Think I'll just stay in my Polly Anna world and hope for the best. Make that Star Trek...Scotty, beam me up!  tongue
 
I really gotta get back to work...have a safe one!
 
swim
 


Tony Crispino
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8122
   Posted 3/16/2008 11:15 AM (GMT -7)   
I thank you all for the responses and truly respect all respondants opinions. It just seems me the correct ethical response would have come from the insurance company. "We are sorry for Mr. De Niro's news. We support him in his fight against cancer. We will honor our contract".

On the legal side, it was the insurance company that drew the contract and brought forth the lawsuit. I remember my studies for my contractors license. The most basic part of my study is that when there are vague parts of a contract that are brought into court, the court is bound to interpret them against the party that drew the contract. They easily could have provisioned language that stated "in the event of...". But i can't even give that to them because guess what?, The conract was not vague. It asked does he have disease of the prostate. Again I don't believe that if Mr. De Niro had stated "yes" that the insurer would have objected. They only objected when the claim was 1.8 million. The lawsuit was drawn years after the fact. If the claim was 50k I doubt they would not have litigated. They, staying within insurance companies actions, will litigate amlost anything where the cost of attorneys fees and the court is less than the payout on the claim. It's a gamble and they lost. If they pass that on to the consumers that buy auto insurance, shame on them and that would be ethically wrong. They can easily make it up in premiums covering movies as a whole. Business is business and prostate cancer is prostate cancer. The two can and will collide. The dollar amounts and the wealth of the parties does not matter. The priciple has to stay unchanged.

I have changed my posts above to not mention the insurer. They should not be singled out. Many companies will do the same thing.
 
On the WWJD?  Mark 12:17 or Romans 13:7, perhaps.

Tony

Post Edited (TC-LasVegas) : 3/16/2008 1:12:42 PM (GMT-6)


Tim G
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2249
   Posted 3/16/2008 1:08 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't know the exact facts of Mr De Niro's case, but in mine I would have been justified legally, ethically and morally to answer the question as asked by the insurers with a "no".  When I had my biopsy:
 
(1) My PSA was in the normal range for my age.
 
(2) The DRE was negative
 
(3) The reason for the biopsy was PSA velocity, but the biopsy was described by the urologist as a procedure to rule out cancer (10% chance).
 
Would I have answered that I had colon cancer before  I had a colonoscopy, although there was a small chance that it may have been there due to a positive screening test for fecal occult blood?
No. Thankfully, the colon polyps were negative for cancer.  
 
 

Age 59  PSA velocity quadrupled in 1 yr (0.6 to 2.6) 
1 of 12 biopsies positive (5%) 
Open surgery June 2006 
Cancer confined to one small area Gleason 5 
PSA's undetectable
 

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