TTSH: Family was kept informed

SINGAPORE- The family was kept informed of Mr P Ram Moorthy's condition and treatment throughout, a spokesman for TTSH told The New Paper.

He said Mr Moorthy first came to the hospital on March 20 last year with abdominal pains and a CT scan showed a large ruptured pelvic tumour.

This, the spokesman added, was indication of an advanced cancer.

As it was a life-threatening situation, Mr Moorthy needed emergency surgery.

"Our doctors communicated the findings and plan to Mr Moorthy and his wife, who then consented to surgery to remove the ruptured pelvic tumour. They were also told that the ruptured tumour was probably cancerous," he said.

The surgery went well and Mr Moorthy was discharged eight days later.

His case was subsequently discussed at the multidisciplinary tumour board, which decided that "since the tumour was already likely to have spread due to the rupture, the treatment intent would be palliative", and as the patient showed no symptoms of the cancer after the operation, the treatment plan was to "monitor him for relapse and commence chemotherapy only when he experienced symptoms from his cancer".

"This was shared with the patient and his family on April 3," he said, adding that Mr Moorthy returned regularly for tests to check for potential cancer spread but there was none.

He said Mr Moorthy returned with severe abdominal pains on August 23. Scan results showed that the cancer had spread.

He was then given palliative chemotherapy and painkillers and warded at TTSH in September and again in October.

"Mr Moorthy was growing noticeably weaker from the cancer. Our doctors had been in contact with the family throughout, updating on the patient's condition and treatment," he said.

But in October, Mr Moorthy's family discharged him "against our medical advice to seek a second opinion... They readmitted him in November as his condition continued to deteriorate."

He died on Dec 8.

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