Hacettepe University allegedly gave incorrect information regarding the condition of a patient who received a face transplant at its hospital, in a second scandal in less than a week after the death of a transplant patient, which some experts say could have been avoided.
In the latest scandal, the Sabah daily on Sunday claimed that a report that Hacetteppe University submitted to the Health Ministry’s Organ Transplant Science Committee, citing the reasons why a face transplant receiver needed the operation, listed reasons different than the patient had declared.
The university’s report said patient Cengiz Gül suffered from deformations in his eye, nose and mouth and a transplant would give functionality to these organs. However, the patient did not have any deformation in any of the facial areas mentioned in the report, Sabah claimed. A photo of the patient prior to the surgery also confirms this. A slightly asymmetrical but otherwise completely regular face is shown in the photo attributed to Cengiz Gül the paper published. The paper claims Cengiz Gül did not fit the requirements for a facial transplant. A Hacettepe doctor admitted that Gül only had burn scars on his ears. This is not enough to qualify for a face transplant according to the current legislation.
The paper also quoted Turan Çolak, a 27-year-old patient waiting for a face transplant, whose face was disfigured due to burns he suffered in a fire when he was three-and-a-half years old, who claimed that he was the next in line for an available face and that Gül had unjustly taken his turn.
Turkey has been discussing the ethics of organ transplants since last week, in a heated debated sparked by the death of a patient who received four limbs in a single operation, which some speculate was caused by an unspoken competition between hospitals performing transplants.