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Swiss surgeon found guilty of negligent homicide during heart transplant operation

A surgeon was found guilty of negligent homicide for failing to spot incompatible blood groups during a heart transplant operation.

Marko Turina was sentenced to pay a 5,000 Swiss francs (US$4,070; EUR3,020) fine and given a suspended penalty of 38,250 francs (US$31,150; EUR23,140) for the death of a female patient in April 2004.

The woman, whose blood group was O+, died three days after her body rejected a heart from a donor with the blood group A+. People with blood group O+ can donate organs to people with A+ type, but not receive transplants from them.

Prosecutors blamed the surgeon, who has since retired, and two of his colleagues at Zurich's University Hospital for "a series of mistakes, misunderstandings, insufficient communication and mistaken hierarchical thinking."

The two others doctors, who were not named, were fined 4,000 francs (US$3,260; EUR2,420) and 2,000 francs (US$1,610; EUR1,210) and given suspended penalties of 14,400 francs (US$11,730; EUR8,710) and 5,700 francs (US$4,640; EUR3,450) respectively.