Europe

German organ donor scandal doctor goes on trial

Doctor waiting for kidney to be removed from donor (file photo - June 2012)
Image caption A worldwide shortage of organ donors has put pressure on many transplant clinics

The trial of a doctor accused of falsifying patients' information to push them up an organ transplant list has begun in Germany.

It is alleged the doctor falsified information in at least 25 cases, and accepted money from multiple patients outside Europe in exchange for placement on the Eurotransplant list.

The doctor, who has not been named, denies all the charges.

A shortage of organ donors has led to competition between transplant centres.

In January, German media reported 38 patients with liver problems were falsely listed as dialysis cases in order to shorten their wait for a transplant. Three doctors at the Leipzig University Clinic's organ transplant centre were suspended.

All the cases in the scandal concern liver patients, and all but one of the alleged manipulations took place in 2010 and 2011.

The doctor faces 11 charges of manslaughter and three of bodily harm resulting in death, German media report.

He is alleged to have falsely claimed that some of the patients were on dialysis, and that others were alcoholics who had completed the necessary period of abstinence from alcohol before a transplant.

He must have known that other patients would have been put at risk through his actions of not receiving organs and of dying as a result, the prosecution alleges.

The charges of bodily harm relate to three cases in which livers were allegedly transplanted into unsuitable patients.

There has been a sharp drop in organ donations since the scandal broke.

More on this story

Around the BBC

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites