August 31, 2011
Two hospitals in Taiwan were fined $150,000 (US $5,170) each on Wednesday by health authorities who said staff members' negligence resulted in five transplant patients receiving organs from an HIV-positive donor. If the organ recipients contract the virus, National Taiwan University Hospital and National Cheng Kung University Hospital will face criminal charges and additional fines, the health department said. The donor's family, unaware of his HIV infection, allowed his organs to be harvested after he fell to his death last week. Standard testing detected HIV before the organs were removed, but the information was incorrectly relayed and surgeons were given the go-ahead for the operations. Calling the cases "critical medical negligence," officials said they will conduct random inspections of the medical centers.