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Transplants From Living Patients in E. Germany Probed

<i> The Washington Post</i>

Charite Hospital, eastern Berlin’s most prestigious medical facility, allegedly removed organs from living patients to provide transplants to privileged patients, German media reported this week.

Berlin prosecutors said they are investigating Charite’s involvement in four transplant cases in which, according to German press reports, organs were taken from living patients so that Communist Party officials could be kept alive.

“It would be nice to say that it was all not true, that everything was done correctly here,” Harald Mau, dean of the hospital, told a staff meeting at Charite on Thursday. “Unfortunately, that is not so.”

A hospital spokesman said some Charite brain surgeons were pressured to declare patients dead before their vital signs had disappeared, but they refused to do so. Other hospital officials, however, told German television this week that some East Germans did die to give their organs to the politically powerful.

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