We examine all the details about Dr Paolo Macchiarini, who is the inspiration for the popular true crime series Bad Surgeon: Love Under the Knife and know where is he now
Netflix’s newest true crime series, “Bad Surgeon: Love Under the Knife,” has sparked controversy as it explores the narrative of Dr. Paolo Macchiarini. This Swiss-born Italian thoracic surgeon, once praised for revolutionary contributions to stem cell research and trachea transplants, is presently serving a 30-month prison term in Sweden. His downfall began with allegations related to his medical practices, ethical conduct, and unauthorized experimental surgeries.
Who is Dr Paolo Macchiarini, where is he now today in 2023 and net worth as documentary drops
Dr. Paolo Macchiarini is world famous for his revolutionary stem cell-infused windpipe transplants. There's just one problem: His patients keep dying.
— CinemaRare (@CinemaRareIN) November 29, 2023
A revolutionary surgery promised to save lives. It did anything but.
Here's everything you need to know about the new true crime series Bad Surgeon: Love Under the Knife ⬇️https://t.co/JYfaMrjDbx
— Netflix Tudum (@NetflixTudum) December 1, 2023
Why Dr Paolo Macchiarini faced legal trouble?
Initially celebrated for his achievements in regenerative medicine, particularly in synthetic scaffold trachea transplants using patients’ own stem cells, Macchiarini gained global recognition and offered hope to individuals with severe tracheal damage. However, investigations uncovered a lack of proper authorization and sufficient patient consent in his procedures, resulting in serious complications and, tragically, fatalities among his trachea transplant patients.
Apart from his professional misconduct, Macchiarini’s personal life was characterized by deceit. Despite initial acclaim and assertions of serving as the personal surgeon to influential figures like Barack Obama, investigations exposed falsified data and ethical breaches in his research papers, prompting retractions from scientific journals. These ethical concerns ultimately led to his dismissal from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.
The downfall of Macchiarini, as depicted in the Netflix series, extended beyond his professional career. He encountered legal trouble, facing charges of aggravated assault and bodily harm against former patients, resulting in his conviction and subsequent imprisonment. Moreover, his deceit also affected his personal life; his fiancée, Benita Alexander, uncovered his secret marriage and exposed his lies about having connections with high-profile clients.
What happened to Dr Macchiarini?
In 2013, a documentary titled “A Leap of Faith” highlighted the medical achievements of Macchiarini. During this period, Macchiarini entered into a romantic relationship with Benita Alexander, the investigative producer of the documentary, and the two became engaged. However, Macchiarini’s career took a negative turn when allegations surfaced regarding unauthorized experimental surgeries and insufficient patient consent.
Subsequent investigations uncovered serious complications and fatalities among his trachea transplant patients, resulting in accusations of medical misconduct. Netflix characterizes Macchiarini’s reputation in the early 2000s, noting rumors of him serving as the personal surgeon to figures like Barack Obama and the Pope. Nevertheless, his downfall ensued with both professional and legal repercussions.
Dismissed from the Karolinska Institute and facing retractions of his research papers due to ethical concerns and falsified data, Macchiarini ultimately faced charges of aggravated assault and bodily harm against his former patients. In June 2023, Macchiarini received a sentence of two years and six months in prison and he is currently serving time. He has a net worth of $1-5 million.
In June, a Swedish court of appeals found Macchiarini guilty of gross assaultopens in a new tab or window and sentenced him to 2.5 years in prisonopens in a new tab or window and last year, he was also convicted by a Swedish court of “causing bodily harm.”