The husband of a health columnist who died at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute from an overdose during breast cancer treatment will use part of a cash settlement to help find a cure for the disease.
Robert Distel has settled his wrongful death lawsuit against the prestigious hospital for an undisclosed sum. He plans "a large contribution" to Dana-Farber, where he works as a scientist, to establish a breast cancer research fellowship in memory of Betsy Lehman, his lawyer said."I want Betsy's name linked with the search for a cure, not with the terrible circumstances of her death," Distel said in a statement read Wednesday by attorney Michael Mone.
Lehman, 39, a columnist for The Boston Globe, died Dec. 3 after receiving an overdose of cyclophosphamide and four times the maximum safe dose of another highly toxic drug meant to shield her from the side effects of chemotherapy.
Lehman was given overdoses for four days. At least a dozen doctors, nurses and pharmacists overlooked the error, even though another woman had suffered severe heart damage from the same combination of drugs two days earlier.
The mistake was not discovered until Feb. 13, after clerks went through records.
The overdoses led to the resignation of the hospital director and several other top administrators.
Investigators found that nurses, doctors and pharmacists had made dozens of mistakes involving patients. The hospital has corrected the problems.