Veteran Tells Congress He Was Handed a ‘Death Sentence’ by VA Hospital

Photo Credit: AP Photo / David Goldman

Photo Credit: AP Photo / David Goldman

Barry Coates knows he will die soon and thus become another preventable patient death resulting from botched care at a Department of Veterans Affairs hospital.

In November 2010, Coates sought treatment for severe abdominal pain and rectal bleeding at a VA hospital in Hartsville, S.C.

The doctor recommended a colonoscopy to determine if his suffering resulted from early stages of colorectal cancer.

For more than a year, Coates faced delay after delay, churning through one doctor after another until finally the routine medical test was performed in December 2011.

It showed he had advanced colorectal cancer, which could have been treated more effectively if had been detected that first day.

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