By Julie Killian
Two doctors have been sent to prison for the distribution and sale of contraband organs to the United States, law enforcement officials confirmed this past Friday. Celso Roberto Scafi and Claudio Rogerio Carneiro Fernandes were urologists who practiced medicine in the second most populous state of Brazil, Minas Gerais. They have been convicted of illegal removal and sale of kidneys, livers, and body tissues of their patients.
Authorities state that the two did not act alone. There is a search for an anesthesiologist named Sergio Poli Gaspar, who had failed to turn himself in. He remains to be a fugitive from justice. The men were convicted in February of 2013 yet the verdict was then appealed to a higher court, which on Thursday supported the lower court’s decision. The men were brought into custody, and are currently being held in a prison, located in the town of Pocos de Caldas, about 500 kilometers from the state capital, Belo Horizonte.
The case was on a 10-year-old boy named Paulo Veronesi Pavesi, who had died in an accidental fall and had his organs removed then sent to the United States without any form of consent. Although the doctors responsible have been sentenced to 17 to 18 years in prison with their practicing licenses revoked, it is daunting to consider who else has suffer under their care in Brazil and abroad.
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