Macchiarini asked for additions to reference

During the trial, Paolo Macchiarini said different treatment options had been prepared for patient number one and number two prior to the surgeries.

For example, in the case of patient number one, Macchiarini stated that the choice for a plastic trachea transplant was not made until after the surgery had started.

It was only then, according to Macchiarini, that it became clear that the intended first-line alternative, a different surgical technique, was not applicable.

At that point, the final decision is made to use synthetic trachea instead, Macchiarini says. It was done by the senior surgeons at the operating table, including himself.

During Thursday’s trial, Chief Prosecutor Jim Westerberg Macchiarini stated that he had never said there was a Plan A and a Plan B in previous police interrogations, and when the court president asked if it was true that he did not mention this, Macchiarini replied. :

– I don’t remember, but it’s unlikely because there are several emails referring to plan A and plan B. Maybe the police who interrogated me didn’t write down those emails, and I didn’t reply, was because I was not asked about it .

He continued:

– But, of course, this is an email that has been officially shown here. There was a plan A, a plan B, and even a plan C.

The prosecutor also pressured Macchiarini regarding the referral of patient number one. It was written by a doctor in Iceland where the patient lived.

Jim Westerberg pointed out that Macchiarini stated in a police interrogation that he had not thought about the alternative of transplantation for patient number one and that the idea came from the doctor in Iceland.

But during the trial, the prosecution showed an email exchange between Macchiarini and the Icelandic doctor. It states that the first draft of the referral does not refer to a transplant. It was added after Macchiarini emailed the Icelandic doctor for reformulation and additions to the referral.

Macchiarini stated at the trial that he sent the email with the change on the advice of a company executive who asked him to add the text about transplantation.

When Jim Westerberg urged Macchiarini for an answer as to why he failed to mention in previous interrogations that it was the chief of operations who instructed him to include the word transplant in the reference, Macchiarini replied:

– Probably because the police did not specifically ask where that perception came from.

Macchiarini insisted that he show Iceland’s design to the head of operations, who in turn asked him to make the addition about the transplant.

– He advised me, as far as I know and based on my memory photos, to add something about transplantation, which I did.

To Jim Westerberg’s final question, whether he believes the surgical method he applied worked, Macchiarini did not give a unequivocal answer. Instead, he referred to an answer the Icelandic doctor allegedly gave in a police interrogation.

– I don’t remember the exact wording, but the question was, do you think it was a failure or a success, and his answer was: Yes, it worked.

During the trial, prosecutors spent a lot of time asking whether there was scientific evidence for Macchiarini’s method.

Prosecutors allege that Macchiarini acted in complete defiance of science and proven experience in carrying out the interventions, while at trial Macchiarini claimed there was sufficient scientific evidence to make the method work.

During the week, two foreign professors were also heard about the scientific situation, and both testimonies supported the claim that there was no scientific evidence that the method would work.

The trial of Paolo Macchiarini continues next week.
(updated 2022-05-25)

Anna Popplewell

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