Story By: William McGee, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
Two doctors have been sentenced to 25 years in prison for removing a boy’s organs for illegal donation while he was still alive.
Doctors Jose Luis Gomes da Silva and Jose Luis Bonfitto were sentenced for killing Paulo ‘Paulinho’ Veronesi Pavesi, 10, in the Brazilian municipality of Pocos de Caldas in April 2020.
The trial began on 28th January and was concluded in the early hours of 30th January.
Silva and Bonfitto were sentenced to 25 years in prison and will not be allowed to appeal their sentences in freedom.
A third doctor on trial, Marco Alexandre Pacheco da Fonseca, was absolved by the jury, and another doctor accused, lvaro Ianhez, did not take the stand due to a pending appeal.
The victim’s father, Paulo Airton Pavesi, was present during the reading of the sentences in court in the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte.
The case had been moved to Belo Horizonte in 2014 due to a spin campaign by a doctors’ association in Pocos de Caldas that had comprised the previous jury’s integrity.
Paulinho was admitted to a public hospital in Pocos de Caldas in April 2000 after he fell from a height of 10 metres (33 feet) at his housing block.
His dad told the court that he agreed to donate his son’s organs in the case of brain death.
Paulinho sadly passed away in the hospital and Paulo Airton originally thanked the doctors for their efforts in trying to save his son.
However, he discovered their crime after receiving the hospital bill, which listed procedures he found suspicious.
The Public Prosecution later found that the report stating brain death had been forged and that Paulinho was still alive when his kidneys, liver, and corneas were removed.
The subsequent exhumation of the boy’s body revealed the removal of the organs his father had not authorised.
Paulo Airton continued to seek justice for his son and even had to flee to Italy after receiving threats, later moving to the UK.
The four doctors involved maintain their innocence.
Three other doctors were sentenced in 2014 but had their sentences overturned two years later.
Two of them spent 30 days in prison and the other spent just one day behind bars. Legal proceedings involving the three are still underway.
The case is believed to be dragging on for so long because the suspects’ “postponement appeals keep being accepted”, according to Paulo Airton.
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