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Judge calls insurer 'barbaric' for denying cancer therapy

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MIAMI (AP) — A federal judge in Miami recused himself from judging a lawsuit over an insurance company's denial of coverage for a prostate cancer treatment, calling it "immoral and barbaric."

The Miami Herald reports U.S. District Judge Robert Scola cited his personal experience with prostate cancer and said he can't be impartial in the case against UnitedHealthcare.

Richard Cole, a prominent Miami attorney, accuses United Healthcare of denying his request for proton beam therapy because it's more expensive than traditional radiation treatment.

UnitedHealthcare spokeswoman Maria Gordon Shydlo said coverage decisions are based on "prevailing published clinical and scientific evidence."

Another federal judge also withdrew from the case because he's friends with the 71-year-old lawyer.

Associated Press

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