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The husband of a terminal cancer patient who has taken two UHS doctors to court for malpractice testified yesterday that his wife's cancer had spread considerably and had reached her brain during the time of her treatment at UHS.
Yesterday was the second day of questioning in the malpractice trial between Gena Glicklich, a 39-year-old student at the School of Education, and doctors Alan R. Spievack, Jennifer Jones, and Joan Golub. Glicklich sued both Spievack and Jones, physicians at UHS, and Golub, a private physician, for failing to diagnose breast cancer that now could prove fatal within the year.
Glicklich contends that in the eleven months from her first visit to Golub until doctors finally performed a biopsy in July 1979, her cancer had grown from the size of a pea of that of a melon and had become inoperable.
Defense attorneys Douglas Danner, for Golub, and Raymond J. Kenney Jr., for Jones, claim as part of their defense that earlier diagnosis would not have made any difference.
Dr. Norman Sadowsky, Chief of Radiology at Faulkner Hospital, said yesterday it is impossible to tell whether removing the tumor earlier could have saved Glicklich's life.
In testimony, however, Steven J. Weiner, Glicklich's husband, described the marked deterioration in his wife's mental capacity during the period she saw the three doctors.
"She was much more disorganized than I had ever seen her before," Weiner said. "Any sound in the house would cause her to get angry. Her mood would fluctuate between being angry, being tearful, or somewhat giddy."
In contrast, Weiner testified that when Glicklich first came to UHS, she seemed emotionally stable and capable of handling the mental strain of her graduate courses. "Gena was engrossed in her studies. She expressed delight at being at Harvard and returning for her degree," Weiner said yesterday.
If Glicklich can prove to the jury not only that the doctors were negligent, but that accurate diagnosis would have saved her life, the court would award her $370,000, an estimate of her expected future earnings had she not been stricken
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