"Such an increase is considered unusual," the paper wrote. "Even Germany's largest transplant center only transplants around 100 livers per year."
Medical Ethics Debate
State prosecutors in both Bavaria and Lower Saxony are working together to investigate the cases surrounding the 45-year-old doctor. In the meantime, public debate about medical ethics has been fierce. In this week's edition of Spiegel, Günther Kirste, head of the German Organ Transplantation Foundation (DSO), said that over the course of the previous week three families had refused to donate a dead relative's organs "in consideration of the incidents in Göttingen."
The scandal is a serious setback in light of legislation passed earlier this summer to encourage organ donation in the country. The rate of organ donation is relatively low in Germany, which is ranked number 15 out of 24 countries in 2010 figures provided by the DSO, behind Spain, the US and France. Every eight hours a person in Germany reportedly dies needlessly because there are not enough donor organs.
Independent of the organ donation scandal in Göttingen and Regensburg, the first part of the new legislation went into effect on Aug. 1. It includes hiring transplant agents at hospitals to oversee and organize organ donations with patients and their families. New control mechanisms for the donor system, as well as improved rights and health benefits for donors will also be introduced.
The next wave of the new legislation will begin on Nov. 1, after which every German resident will eventually be asked to choose whether they wish to be an organ donor or not.
Intellpuke: This article is a compilation of reporting by Spiegel journalists and various news agencies; you can read it in context here: www.spiegel.de/international/germany/organ-transplant-scandal-shocks-germany-a-848016.html