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Trial against transplant doctor in Göttingen

Trial against transplant doctor in Göttingen

Accused transplant doctor denies lack of organs

In the process of fraud involving organ transplants against a doctor in Göttingen, the defendant has denied that there is a lack of donor liver.

"There is no organ deficiency"
On Friday, the 46-year-old accused transplant doctor told the Göttingen district court: "There is no organ deficiency." The offer would be sufficient for all patients who urgently need an organ. The doctor said that if so-called stable patients were removed from the waiting list of the central awarding agency Eurotransplant, there would even be an oversupply. The former head of transplantation medicine at the University Hospital in Göttingen is accused of homicide eleven times as well as triple bodily harm resulting in death. Due to the machinations of the accused, other sick patients had no organs and could therefore have died, the indictment was accepted. Three patients to whom the doctor transferred liver without medical need subsequently died.

Manipulations caused
The accused is accused of manipulation in order to get organs faster for his patients. The police investigator said as a witness that the doctor himself did not enter the wrong data in the Eurotransplant reporting system. In some cases, he is also said to have incorrectly documented according to "NDR 1" that patients are required to undergo dialysis, which also increases the chance of receiving a donor organ faster. In addition, there is the allegation that the doctor has registered patients for transplants without having complied with the prescribed alcohol abstinence of six months.

Doubts about real interest in education
The trial indicated how difficult it could be to prove that other patients had been harmed. As an example of a case, the court read the Eurotransplant protocol. Patients who slid back on the waiting list due to the alleged manipulations in Göttingen have nevertheless received donor livers. Even on the second day of the trial, the doctor did not address the specific allegations made by the public prosecutor. However, he explained that there were always enough donor organs for patients with an urgent need. The defendant did not answer questions from the public prosecutor and the co-plaintiff. Defense attorney Steffen Stern justified this with doubts that both would have a real interest in clarification.

No financial motives
The suspect said that financial motives did not matter to him in his work. Bonus payments of 1,500 euros would have been lower in total from a certain number of liver transplants than if he had been able to pay overtime. He worked in the clinic twelve months a year and up to 30 days a month. In addition to his German passport, the doctor also has an Israeli passport and has been in custody since January because of the risk of flight. In her indictment, the prosecutor had requested that the medical profession be banned - but from the accused's point of view it was completely incomprehensible because he was "ready for the patients day and night" and considered his profession as a doctor to be "a life's work", reports "NDR 1 “a few days ago.

Number of organ donors decreased
The trial was the first in Germany to be accused of killing a doctor after manipulating patient data. Up to May 2014, more than 40 days of negotiations have been scheduled. Willingness to donate organs has dropped noticeably after the case became known last summer. According to the German Organ Donation Foundation, the number of organ donors has since fallen by almost 20 percent. (ad)

Photo credit: Martin Büdenbender / pixelio.de

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