Italian surgeon once hailed for pioneering windpipe surgery found guilty of bodily harm during operation
A disgraced Italian doctor who won global praise for pioneering windpipe surgery has been convicted by a Swedish court for causing bodily harm during an operation.
Paolo Macchiarini, who was hailed in 2011 after claiming to have performed the world’s first synthetic trachea transplants using stem cells, was given a suspended sentence by a court in Sweden where he was a surgeon.
But his work was called into question after three patients he treated with the trachea transplants afterward died, reported the BBC.
Prosecutors claimed the operations constituted assault or bodily harm due to negligence on the part of Macchiarini.
The court cleared him in two situations because of the health of the patients. However, in a third case he was found guilty. If he breaks the terms of his suspended sentence, Macchiarini could be jailed for two years under Swedish law.
In total, eight such transplants were carried out.
Andemariam Beyene, who received the first transplant in 2011, died two and a half years later after a series of infections.
“I was very scared, very scared about the operation. But it was live or die,” he was quoted as saying after the operation.
After the ruling Macchiarini’s lawyer Bjorn Hurtig said: “We won most of the case”, as the court had cleared his client on “meaningful parts”
The doctor was also an employee of Sweden’s Karolinska Institute research facility, which awards the Nobel prize in medicine.
The institute sacked him in 2016.
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