Doctors convicted of performing unnecessary operations, sentenced to jail

International news headlines read like this today:

Italian docs get prison for surgery Medics ‘removed limbs for cash’
Italy jails ‘clinic of horrors’ surgeon’
Italian Surgeons get Prison for Unneeded Surgery’

Eight Italian doctors in all have been sentenced to prison for performing unnecessary surgeries which, in some cases, resulted in the death of patients. Charges against the physicians included involuntary homicide with aggravating circumstances of cruelty and social security fraud.

The surgeries performed included a mastectomy on an 18-year-old girl, lung removal and amputation. Surgeries were even performed on terminally ill patients for financial and professional gain.

Why did the doctors do it? Greed, money and reputation. The prosecutors claimed that 83 operations performed in a three year period were performed so that the private medical clinic would receive a large subsidy from the state.

In all, a total of 14 people associated with the Santa Rita clinic in Milan were indicted. Pier Paolo Bega Massone, the chief surgeon was sentenced to 15-1/2 years of prison. His two assistants, Pietro Fabio Presicci and Marco Pansera, were sentenced to terms of 10 years and six years and nine months respectively. Five people negotiated plea-bargains including the head of the clinic, Francesco Paolo Pipitone.

An investigation into the clinic started in 2007 with a tip from an anonymous source. The doctors were recorded by wiretap discussing how invasive surgeries would make them more money.

Have you been the victim of an unnecessary or botched surgery? If so, you should consult with a personal injury attorney with a specialty in medical malpractice. At the Farber Law Group, we have more than 30 years representing the victims of medical and surgical malpractice and families with their wrongful death claims.

In medical malpractice cases, the test is whether the professional’s negligence in failing to meet professional standards was below the “standard of care.”


The Seattle Times “Italian doctors to get prison for unneeded surgeries”
Posted: October 29, 2010
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Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. We have offices in Seattle and Bellevue to assist you.