Doctors Discussed Transplants in Front of Conscious Donor

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Doctors at Kaplan Hospital in Rehovot are fighting to save the life of a seven-month-old suffering from a rare case of botulinum toxin poisoning. (Illustrative photo)Credit: Getty Images

A Swedish man who was paralyzed by a stroke is filing an official complaint against a hospital after hearing doctors tell his girlfriend and relatives he was going to die and discussing transplanting his liver and kidney.

"I heard them say that there was no hope," Jimi Fritze, 43, told The Telegraph. "I couldn't do anything. I could only see and hear. I couldn't move my body."

Fritze suffered a stroke nearly two years ago as he and his girlfriend were dining on smoked fish and wine at a restaurant on the Gothenburg archipelago. As it was too windy for a helicopter to land on the island, it took one-and-a-half hours to get him by boat to hospital.

"I heard them talking about donation, they wanted to do some tests on my liver and my kidney, so they could give them to some people," he said.

Still, he could do nothing to alert anyone to the fact that he was fully conscious.

When his family came in to say their final farewell, the doctors discussed organ donation with them, even though Mr Fritze had yet to be declared officially brain dead, something he believes violated official guidelines.

If a more experienced doctor had not returned from holiday three days after his accident, he is in little doubt that he would not be here today. When the new doctor took another look at the X-ray, she immediately realized that there was a good chance Fritze might recover. Within days, he was able to communicate by nodding his head.

After nearly two years, and constant rehabilitation therapy, Fritze can now speak and move, although he remains confined to a wheelchair and reliant on an assistant.

Last month, he filed an official complaint with Gothenburg's Sahlgrenska Hospital, where he was treated, hoping that it will help prevent the same thing happening to others.

Stefan Sarajärvi, a spokesman for the hospital, said that the hospital had begun an inquiry into Fritze's complaint, and would respond later this month. "We take all the complaints we receive very seriously, and do everything we can to make sure it doesn't happen in future," he said.

Click the alert icon to follow topics: