An elderly man who was battling cancer for seven months may have died without ever knowing his diagnosis, a federal lawsuit alleges.
According to the New York Post, the family of 82-year-old Alfred Weinrib claims three Long Island medical facilities refused to provide the deaf man with a sign-language interpreter for the seven months he was stricken with cancer.
“Diagnosis and treatment options were not explained in a meaningful way to Alfred Weinrib or his family,” said Lance and Melinda Weinrib, according to the Post. “Procedures were performed … without fully and clearly explaining … the risks and benefits.”
In fact, the Brooklyn federal court lawsuit alleges that Weinrib even attempted suicide after confused nurses who couldn’t understand him ignored his request for assistance using the restroom.
“This is one of the worst cases of its kind that we’ve seen or read about,” the family’s attorney Eric Baum said, according to the Post.
The saga reportedly started in September 2012 when Weinrib went to Winthrop University Hospital with seizures. A doctor there allegedly told the family they didn’t provide sign-language interpreters, the Post reported.
The Gurwin Jewish Nursing & Rehabilitation Center also allegedly failed to provide a translator. His children — who are also deaf— said a nurse at Good Samaritan Hospital even laughed when the family pointed at a sign which encouraged deaf individuals to request interpreters.
Video equipment that could have potentially helped with communicating the diagnosis and treatment to the 82-year-old was also broken, his kids said.
Weinrib died in April.
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