Whistleblower Lawsuit Claims Misdiagnosis, Cover-Up At KU Hospital

Jul 5, 2016

An explosive lawsuit filed by a KU Hospital doctor says the head of the hospital’s pathology department wrongly diagnosed a patient with cancer and then covered up the mistake.

The lawsuit was filed by Dr. Lowell Tilzer, who previously headed KU’s pathology department. Tilzer says because of the misdiagnosis, a vital organ of the patient was removed. Afterward, he says, other pathologists found the organ to be normal. He says the head pathologist then altered hospital records to make it appear two other pathologists concurred with her diagnosis.

Tilzer claims the hospital has refused to acknowledge the error. As far as he knows, the patient is still unaware of the misdiagnosis.

“I’m not really afraid of being fired but I am afraid if the administration’s attitude for helping cover up the misdiagnosis will affect other patients and hurt other people," Tilzer says. "It’s that attitude they’ve got I’m terribly concerned.”

KU Hospital responded to the lawsuit by saying the patient is “pleased with the care and clinical outcome.” But Tilzer says the hospital still insists there was no misdiagnosis; instead, he says he was asked by the hospital president if he wanted to resign.

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Heartland Health Monitor is a statewide reporting collaboration covering health in Kansas and Missouri.