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Probe into organ donor scandal

BERLIN — Prosecutors are investigating an organ donor scandal in the east German city of Leipzig in which doctors allegedly manipulated an organ waiting list.

Three doctors have been suspended at the Leipzig University Clinic’s organ transplant centre.

German media report that 38 patients with liver problems were falsely listed as dialysis cases in order to shorten their wait for a transplant.

Competition between transplant centres may be to blame, experts say.

There is a worldwide shortage of organ donors – a factor that may have exacerbated competition.

The board director at the Leipzig clinic, Wolfgang Fleig, said he could not rule out that money may have changed hands in the Leipzig scandal.

Liver patients targeted

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

According to Frank Ulrich Montgomery, head of the German Medical Association, the irregularities are now “history” because supervision has been tightened.

“Never has transplant medicine been as secure as it is today,” he told the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

But he also said any previous malpractice should be cleared up.

Germany’s MDR radio says the scandal is particularly bad news for Saxony, the state where Leipzig is located, because it has many patients urgently in need of transplants. (BBC)

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