An Italian surgeon accused of assaulting a patient with a pioneering tracheal transplant is brought to justice

A trial of a former Italian surgeon accused of attacking a patient by performing a pioneering but experimental tracheal transplant began on April 27 in Sweden.

Stem cell scientist Dr. Paolo Macchiarini was charged with assaulting three patients for performing the procedure of creating the world’s first trachea partially made from the patient’s own stem cells.

Macchiarini, 63, was recognized as a pioneer in creating the world’s first “synthetic” trachea in 2011 when he was a surgeon at the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden.

The trachea make Part of the biocompatible material, some from the patient’s stem cells, was welcomed as a breakthrough in regenerative medicine at the time.

However, Macchiarini is said to have killed three people he had operated on between 2011 and 2013. Swedish broadcaster SVT report.. He denied criminal misconduct.

The surgeon appeared in the Solna District Court on April 27, but is initially expected to become a witness on May 6.

According to local reports, Macchiarini was hired as a visiting professor at the Karolinska Institute in 2010 and later became the attending physician and surgeon at the Karolinska University Hospital.

He underwent pioneering tracheal transplant surgery on cancer patients in 2011 and initially appeared to be successful.

However, the patient later suffered a series of complications and died a year and a half later.

Between 2011 and 2013, surgeons made a total of eight similar transplants to various patients in Sweden, Russia, and the United States, seven of whom died and the eighth patient had an artificial trachea removed. bottom. According to SVT, the patient is still alive.

None of the dead are directly related to the operation.

The Karolinska Institute announced in 2013 that it would discontinue the use of synthetic trachea and at the same time not expand Macchiarini’s employment as a surgeon.

In 2016, the institute fired McCarini from a researcher’s standpoint for violating medical ethics, as many doctors tampered with his resume and misrepresented his work. Overly informative method. It was also alleged that he created a description of his patient’s condition.

The Swedish Independent Commission has also found many problems with Macchiarini’s work, but Swedish prosecutors have investigated surgeons on suspicion of gross negligence that caused physical harm or death associated with three patients. have started.

Doctors denied the charges, stating that they were false and no charges were filed against him.

However, in 2018, investigation of the three cases resumed, with additional written evidence and interviews from individuals in Sweden, Belgium, the United Kingdom, the United States and Spain.

In 2019, an Italian court sentenced Macchiarini to 16 months in prison for forgery of documents and abuse of authority.

Macchiarini’s lawyers believe that the Karolinska Institute should be held accountable. University President Lars Rayjonborg has announced that he will resign in 2016 in the light of the scandal. Local report.

Macchiarini’s hearing is scheduled to end on May 23.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.