Paolo Macchiarini, labeled as a “bad surgeon” in common parlance, is far more than just that. His notoriety primarily stems from life-threatening experimental surgeries, which drew the attention of those behind Netflix’s series “Bad Surgeon.” Despite his assertions, including claims such as having the Pope officiate his wedding and performing surgery on multiple American presidents, his most controversial procedure involved implanting a plastic replacement trachea in patients, hoping that stem cells from the donors’ bone marrow would regenerate into a functioning throat.
This experimental process, resembling a poorly researched science fiction plot, ended catastrophically. All three patients subjected to Macchiarini’s procedure died within five years, facing severe complications. Subsequently, his purported “research” faced substantial scientific skepticism, accompanied by allegations of fraud.
Initially avoiding legal consequences by justifying his actions as the last hope for his patients, Macchiarini’s luck changed in June 2023. Appellate judges ruled that two out of three surgeries were not conducted under “emergency conditions,” suggesting that his interventions might have curtailed the patients’ lifespan. Consequently, he was sentenced to two and a half years in prison. However, he appealed the decision, postponing his surrender until the completion of the appeals process.
In November 2023, Science.org, an independent science journalism outlet, reported that Macchiarini’s appeal had been rejected. While there’s no official confirmation of his surrender, it appears imminent. Hence, to the question, “Is Paolo Macchiarini in jail?” the concise response would be, “If not already, he will be soon.”