‘Diagnosis of dying’: How one man’s tumor exposes deep flaws in safety net for Oregon’s most vulnerable

By Brad Schmidt: For More Info, Go Here…

The diagnosis felt like a death sentence.

Pam Dahl had just driven four hours to visit her adult son, Derrick, at the southern Oregon group home where he received round-the-clock care. A gaunt man with dark hair and blue eyes, Derrick Dahl, 35, was diagnosed in childhood with developmental disabilities that leave him largely unable to communicate.

During the March 2018 visit, Dahl’s mother recalls a caregiver saying in passing that her son had been diagnosed with a dangerous tumor.

Successfully pushing for a fresh examination of her son’s case led to another shock. A cancer specialist gave her hope Dahl’s tumor could be treated. She talked to a Portland doctor who was able to remove a baseball-size mass from Dahl during a November surgery.

“Somebody, somewhere, should have said, ‘You need to get a second opinion,’” Pam Dahl said of the care her son received. “You’ve just given this person a diagnosis of dying.”

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