“Accelerated distribution process.” A paperwork system at least one physician, working at Göttingen and Regensburg university hospitals, was caught manipulating to artificially improve some statuses in lists of patients awaiting organ transplants. It turns out a suspiciously high percentage of hearts and livers has been allocated using the alternate, accelerated procedure in Germany. Records are now being re-examined and the organ allocation system will be overhauled. More transparency has been promised, to restore public confidence. This will be accomplished via “more intensive inspections” (unannounced and “end-to-end”), publication of inspection reports and implementing an “extra eyeballs” principle ensuring more than one person will be checking steps executed in the process.
The responsible medical administrators do not want government involvement additional to these agreed changes to be superimposed on these ethical decisions. Patient rights organizations do, however, and have asked for a central authority to be created to oversee related medical ethics considerations. Both sides agree that the penalties for such manipulation should be made tougher.
Update on 03 Jan 2013: Munich was also caught doing this. Now Leipzig University Hospital physicians have been implicated in a similar scandal. The Leipzig problem was discovered by the Göttingen, Regensburg and Munich reforms, which included a review or audit commission (Prüfkommission), “extra eyeballs” principle and increased risks and penalties for tricksing.
Update on 04 Sep 2013: The investigation has found that Münster was also doing this. There is a discussion about the incentives to doctors and hospitals for performing organ transplants in Germany. It’s more subtle than just money, examining ego but also structures that encourage competition among medical departments. Meanwhile, burghers have shown they have less incentive to opt in as organ donors until these issues are clarified.
(Beh SHLOY nick tess fer GOB eh fer FAR en.)