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Doc faces jail for removing the wrong kidney

A surgeon and an assistant that accidentally removed a healthy kidney from a 59-year-old cancer patient in Carinthia leaving the diseased organ intact have been ordered back to court after the original verdict was rejected by the High Court.

The accident happened in November 2010 when the 43-year-old surgeon had removed the right kidney. According to the notes the man had simply been placed on the table the wrong way leading to the mix up.

In the original court case the surgeon was fined 8000 euros and the assistant 1400 euros. But prosecutors appealed and the High Court in Graz agreed that the sentence which was part of an out-of-court settlement was too mild.

Now the pair are back in court and face up to three years in jail for aggravated assault.

The court heard that the error was only discovered when the removed organ was sent for laboratory examination and found to be healthy. It was then found that the diseased organ was still in the man's body.

The only option then was to operate to remove the cancerous part of the organ but leave the rest of it intact, an operation which was carried out by the same 43-year-old surgeon at the wish of the patient.

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