Were rich people preferred to donor organs?

Were rich people preferred to donor organs?

Manipulation in organ transplantation: Did a doctor sell donor organs at the Göttingen University Hospital?

According to media reports, a doctor at the University Clinic in Göttingen forged medical records in order to get donated liver faster for rich patients. 25 patients received a transplant based on the false information. The prosecutor is now investigating for possible bribery.

The organ donation scandal at the University Hospital Göttingen shakes the professional world. Should it be confirmed that patients were preferred for payment when choosing a donor liver, this would have a fatal external impact. So far, it has been established that a medical doctor at the university hospital has falsified the patient's medical records on a large scale in order to help them find a donor organ more quickly. The public prosecutor now has to clarify whether money has flowed for this.

Fake dialysis protocols and laboratory values ​​The machinations of the senior physician at the University Hospital Göttingen were exposed by investigations by the Standing Committee on Organ Transplantation. This found that not only were dialysis protocols falsified in order to make the patient suffer from kidney disease, which significantly increased the need for prompt liver transplantation, but in some cases the laboratory values ​​were also manipulated. In at least two dozen cases, the doctor had made the patients appear more sick on paper than they really were, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on the extent of the scandal. In June, the first allegations were made against the doctor, who came to the University of Göttingen from Regensburg in 2008. A Russian patient had apparently received a liver transplant at the University Hospital in Göttingen based on the falsified medical record, even though he would not have been entitled to a donor organ at all in Germany. In this case, the Braunschweig public prosecutor is currently investigating the doctor and the patient.

Two dozen manipulated liver transplantsn
However, it has now become known that the manipulated liver transplant at the University Hospital Göttingen was apparently not an isolated case. The accused doctor is also said to have forged the patient's medical records in 24 other cases, in order to give them faster access to a donor organ through the international agency Eurotransplant, which brings together Germany and seven other European countries. The doctor certified that the patient had additional kidney disease and did not shy away from presenting dialysis protocols with freely invented values. Other laboratory findings were also made up. For example, many of the patients on paper had significantly higher creatinine levels or an excessive tendency to clot, although there were no complaints. The information should confirm that not only do patients have liver problems, but the kidneys are already affected, which makes the need for a liver transplant much more urgent. This means that patients slide significantly up the waiting list for a donor organ, to the detriment of those who are actually waiting for a donor liver for important reasons.

Other people involved in the organ donation scandal in Göttingen? The University Hospital Göttingen reacted immediately to the allegations against the doctor and "released him from his activities with immediate effect", according to the information from the clinic. However, experts doubt that the doctor has manipulated the medical files, some of them extremely extensive, without help and alone. In this context, two employees of a medical services company from North Rhine-Westphalia are currently being investigated. However, there are probably more people involved in the doctor's machinations. In any case, the accused faces substantial fines if the allegation of corruption is confirmed. However, the sentence could increase if the ongoing investigation comes to the conclusion that other patients who were waiting for a donor liver were harmed to health by the manipulation or may even have died. (fp)

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Image: Martin Büdenbender /

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