Doctors refuse life-saving cancer treatment for former police officers because it is too risky

Doctors refuse to treat a tough anti-bikie agent who only has a few days left to live – although life-saving surgery is available and willing to sign a waiver

  • Specialists refused potentially life-saving cancer treatment to a former agent
  • David Roberts has only a few weeks left to live unless he receives experimental treatment
  • But doctors are nervous, untested treatment can have adverse consequences
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Specialist doctors may have refused life-saving cancer treatment to a former police officer because they cannot guarantee that it will work.

David Roberts, 49, is willing to sign a waiver to clear physicians at Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred for misconduct should he have a negative reaction to the experimental medication.

The father of three only has two weeks to live after other treatments for his stage four non-Hodgkins lymphoma have failed.

He said he is likely to die, regardless of whether or not he receives treatment, but that doctors want to give him one last chance in life.

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David Roberts (pictured during treatment) hopes for another chance at life after traditional cancer treatments have failed

David Roberts (pictured during treatment) hopes for another chance at life after traditional cancer treatments have failed

The CAR-T cell treatment, which costs $ 500,000, is currently being tested in clinical trials across the country, but anyone who is & # 39; qualified to administer it is not willing to do this & # 39; in the case of Mr Roberts, The Australian reported.

It requires the removal of T blood cells from the body – what doctors have already done for Mr. Roberts – before they are mutated and reintegrated into the patient's system.

Hopefully the mutated cells then fight the cancer cells themselves.

But doctors fear that the treatment may actually harm him or make his condition worse, which would violate their ethical obligations.

The former NSW detective (shown during an interview in 2019) called on help to get permission to use the treatment, which normally costs $ 500,000

The former NSW detective (shown during an interview in 2019) called on help to get permission to use the treatment, which normally costs $ 500,000

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The former NSW detective (shown during an interview in 2019) called on help to get permission to use the treatment, which normally costs $ 500,000

The respected former NSW detective and his family called on politicians to help him secure treatment when he first heard of his terminal diagnosis.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt personally lobbyed on behalf of Mr. Roberts, as did NSW Police Minister David Elliott, who wrote to Scott Scott Morrison to request his support.

"Like any officer who dedicates his or her life and often risks keeping the community safe, the state owes him a debt that we can never repay," said Elliott.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard agreed that the government would help cover the costs of the therapy.

Pictured: Mr. Roberts when he worked as a senior detective for the NSW Police Force
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Pictured: Mr. Roberts when he worked as a senior detective for the NSW Police Force

Pictured: Mr. Roberts when he worked as a senior detective for the NSW Police Force

Mr Roberts' colleagues & # 39; s described him as a great, hardened detective who put people's lives first in his two-decades career.

He worked his way up from a local agent with the Burwood Local Area Command to the Middle East organized crime team and was adorned for his arrests and work ethic.

After his terminal diagnosis, his daughter Reanna wrote a letter to politicians reminding her that her father was an excellent civil servant and showed strength and courage like no other.

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& # 39; This is our last chance to save our father's life & # 39 ;, she wrote.

The news that he will not have access to treatment has shocked Mr. Roberts, his family and everyone in his corner who tirelessly lobbyed.

& # 39; Failure means a certain death, & # 39; said Roberts. & # 39; They have already harvested my T cells and are ready to leave. Why did they let me die instead of giving me a chance if there is another option? & # 39;

Roberts cannot travel abroad to find a doctor who wants to administer the treatment because he is rapidly deteriorating.

But the local health district of Sydney sticks to its decision.

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A spokeswoman said: & # 39; We must ensure that experimental treatments are safe and appropriate for the patients involved. The decision not to proceed with the treatment was taken by a panel of national experts in this field. & # 39;

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