Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Macchiarini sentenced to 16 months in an Italian prison

From the BMJ (and behind a paywall):

Disgraced surgeon Paolo Macchiarini, who faked research relating to dangerous and largely discredited tracheal transplants, has been handed a 16 month prison sentence in Italy for forging documents and abuse of office.

Macchiarini made headlines around the world after claiming a major breakthrough for patients with failing windpipes, by “seeding” an artificial scaffold with a patient’s own stem cells, to generate a functioning trachea.

But excitement at the prospect of a genuine medical advance turned to scandal when it emerged that Macchiarini had falsified results and misled hospital authorities regarding the health of those receiving the experimental procedures. The revelation prompted his research centre, the Karolinska Institute, to eventually disown his work and saw the Lancet retract two of his research papers.1

Now, after a protracted legal process, beginning in 2012, Macchiarini has been sentenced to 16 months prison by an appeals court in Florence for providing free treatment—a bronchoscopy—at the Careggi University Hospital for a friend who was not in possession of a European health card and therefore not entitled to free treatment. Macchiarini was also found guilty of hiding the patient’s discharge records to conceal his involvement.

His lawyer Francesco Bevacqua said Macchiarini would appeal against the sentence. Two other surgeons, Alessandro Gonfiotti and Fabio Mannini, were sentenced to a year in prison for forgery.


Wednesday, November 13, 2019