'Dying' Lockerbie Bomber Apparently Recovers

Seven months after a terminal prostate cancer diagnosis with only three months to live, the only person convicted in the Pan America Flight 103 bombing has greatly improved in health, The London Daily Mail reported.
Scotland’s authorities released Abdelbaset Ali Mohamed al-Megrahi from their custody on ‘compassionate grounds’ back in August 2009, allowing him to return to his home in Libya to spend his remaining time with his family.
The Mail’s report said that Col. Saif Gaddafi, son of Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi, is now boasting of the suspect’s recovery.
One of the mysteries at the forefront of Megrahi’s currently improving state is the medical science originally justifying his release.
If fuzzy medical conclusions back Megrahi’s dismal diagnosis, then his ‘compassionate grounds’ release stands on a shaky foundation.

Considering the suspect’s medical history, it appears that Megrahi’s diagnosis was not a very cut and dry one to begin with.

For instance, one of the doctors involved in the suspect’s condition “had no expertise in terminal prostate cancer,” the Times of London reported.

According to Megrahi’s actual medical report from Aug. 3 2009, the consultants assessing his health consisted of two oncologists and two urologists.

It also included input from a ‘palliative care team’ and consultants who “reviewed, commented, and contributed to clinical management of the patient.”

The medical report noted Megrahi’s suffering from ‘metastatic prostate cancer,’ with consultants at first citing his “relative lack of symptoms when considering the severity and stage of his underlying disease.”

Nevertheless, the medical report went through with the cancer diagnosis, citing a progressive increase in pain with Megrahi’s lower back, a disturbed sleep pattern, and an increase in consuming “appropriate medicines.”

It acknowledged the complexity in assessing the outcome of Megrahi’s cancer.
‘It is very difficult to be precise on matters of prognosis for any disease and Mr. Megrahi’s condition is no different,’ it said.

An autumn 2008 prognosis of Megrahi’s survival time said that it could be ‘in the order of months to many months rather than years.’

The report’s more specific estimate gave Megrahi 18-24 months to live.

In light of the report’s ultimate conclusion of Megrahi’s significantly declined health, doctors recommended Megrahi’s release to be with his family for his remaining days.

Current news reports of Megrahi’s improving health would render any previous diagnosis as conflicting, especially considering the medical report’s original conclusion that “a cure is not an option” for Megrahi.

According to data from the American Cancer Society (ACS), prostate cancer accounts for approximately 10% of cancer-related deaths in men.

There can be a five year survival time after the being treated for the initially diagnosed cancer. It is also possible for many patients to live beyond the five year time frame as well, according to the ACS website.

Odds of extending the one’s time frame improve as treatments improve. In all likelihood, it is possible Megrahi might live five years or more as long as he continues receiving treatment for prostate cancer.

Megrahi’s improving health is also likely to intensify political backlash of those who were responsible for his release in the first place.

According to various news reports, Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill and Prime Minister Gordon Brown have both played a role in working out a deal for Megrahi’s release.

As recently as March 1, the family of the Lockerbie bomber expressed hope in the idea that Megrahi could beat cancer.


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