Dropped manslaughter probe of former Karolinska surgeon Macchiarini to be reviewed

The Swedish Public Prosecution Authority is to re-examine manslaughter and related charges against former Karolinska surgeon Paolo Macchiarini, following a new appeal by plaintiffs.

Dropped manslaughter probe of former Karolinska surgeon Macchiarini to be reviewed
File photo of Paolo Macchiarini. Photo Lorenzo Galassi/AP

The Public Prosecution Authority in Gothenburg will inspect four cases even though only two plaintiffs made an appeal. 

In October, public prosecutor Jennie Nordin dropped the case following the conclusion that Macchiarini's failed plastic trachea operations did not directly cause the death of three patients operated on at the Stockholm-based Karolinska University Hospital.

Whilst Nordin conceded that there had been a degree of negligence, the prosecutor could not prove that a crime had been committed, and the statute of limitations had passed in regard to charges of failed medical ethics.

READ ALSO: Prosecutors drop manslaughter probe over Macchiarini patients

There was criticism when it later became apparent that two of the people who vouched for Macchiarini having acted upon good faith were part of his original team, and therefore potentially biased.

On Tuesday, district prosecutor Karin Lundström Kron at the Swedish Prosecution Authority said they “will make an inspection of the whole case before making a decision” on whether to proceed with a prosecution or not.

If the inspection arrives at the same conclusion as the public prosecutor had, then they will “leave it at that” she said. The other alternative would be to initiate a new preliminary investigation as a first step.

Disgraced surgeon and researcher Macchiarini carried out plastic trachea transplants on a number of patients between 2011 and 2014, three of whom were at the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm.

The hospital is affiliated with the prestigious Karolinska Institute, home to the panel that selects the winners of the Nobel Prize in medicine. Following revelations of Macchiarini's stark negligence, members of the Nobel Assembly were forced to resign. 

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