Prisoner Given Aspirin to Treat Tumors Still Has Tumors, Surprisingly

Paul Parisi, a prisoner at Stateville Correctional Center in Illinois, suffers from fibroneuroma—a disease that causes benign tumors to form on his nerve cells. When Parisi's illness started causing him severe pains, he asked his (taxpayer-subsidized) prison doctors to treat him. So they gave him some (free) aspirin and ibuprofen, the end.

Soon Parisi was just like new—except for the tumors, which spread throughout his body. In 2003, he had three tumors, Courthouse News Service reports; now he has more than 60. The aspirin failed—or refused, on principle—to dissolve Parisi's tumors. This might have been expected!

Parisi has filed a federal lawsuit against the prison health provider and three doctors who treated him, claiming that they subjected him to cruel and unusual punishment by giving him basic pain relievers for his somewhat severe tumor disease. A federal judge dismissed Parisi's claims against the provider but is allowing the claims against the doctors to go forward. Giving Parisi aspirin was only a "band-aid" treatment, the judge wrote, adding that "a doctor who treats an inmate with cancer by prescribing only aspirin plainly does not provide adequate medical treatment." The judge seems to be suggesting that aspirin is not an effective cancer cure. You learn something new every day.

[Courthouse News Service. Image via AP]