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Widow Paid Compensation for GP's Medical Misdiagnosis

The widow of a cancer patient whose condition had initially been missed by his GP has been awarded medical negligence compensation.

Christopher Goodhead, who died five years ago at the age of 41, went for an appointment with Dr Asim Islam in 2005 to get medical treatment for rectal bleeding. However, Dr Islam failed to spot that he was suffering from bowel cancer, which meant he did not receive treatment that could have prolonged his life.

Mrs Justice Patterson, the judge presiding over the case at the Royal Courts of Justice, decided that Mr Goodhead would still have died even if he had been correctly diagnosed at the time.

However, she ruled that the mistake by Dr Islam led to his patient's life being cut short by several months and that the care he provided in this case had been substandard. As a result, the Judge decided that Mr Goodhead's widow, Melissa Cutting, was entitled to medical negligence compensation.

"It breaks my heart to know he lost a significant opportunity to be cured, or at the very least to gain more time with us, simply because he wasn't given the advice he should have been," Mrs Cutting commented. She also stated that her late husband had been diagnosed with piles by Dr Islam, when in fact he had a tumour in his bowel.

Mrs Cutting said it was not until more than two years later that he was found to be suffering from cancer, at which point he was "absolutely riddled" with the disease and it was terminal.

She went on to praise Mr Goodhead as "the most amazing husband and a truly devoted father", adding he was "utterly devastated to have to leave his family at such a young age and in such a terrible way".

According to statistics from Cancer Research UK, 40,695 British people were diagnosed with bowel cancer during 2010.

Figures also showed the condition was responsible for 15,659 deaths in 2011. More than half of adults with bowel cancer survived for at least five years between 2005 and 2009, the charity stated.

By Francesca Witney