• Kyodo

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The doctor accused of transplanting unhealthy kidneys in 11 cases at a private hospital said Tuesday he conducted about 10 to 15 similar transplants at another hospital from around 1990 to 2004.

Makoto Mannami, 66, senior urologist at Uwajima Tokushukai Hospital in Uwajima, Ehime Prefecture, told a news conference at the hospital that he had conducted the 10 to 15 other transplants while he worked at Uwajima Municipal Hospital.

Asked when he began such transplants, Mannami said he had “no clear memory.” He also said he remembers nothing about the diseases affecting the people who donated their kidneys.

He issued a written comment at the news conference stating that the transplantation of unhealthy kidneys should be allowed “as a third method in such medical activities, in addition to ordinary kidney transplants from living and dead donors.”

Mannami said he obtained consent from the patients involved and their relatives before transplanting unhealthy kidneys.

Sources at the hospital said that Mannami, 66, removed the diseased kidneys from a man there in 2004, transplanted them into two other patients and gave the donor another unhealthy kidney from a fourth patient.

The donor, a man in his 50s from Uwajima, Ehime Prefecture, was diagnosed with nephrosis, a kidney disease marked by a large amount of protein in the urine, at age 25. His condition deteriorated in 2004 and he asked Mannami to remove the organs, the sources said.

Mannami asked if he could use them for transplants, saying other people might be able to use them, according to the sources. The man consented, and Mannami put them in two patients.

After his kidneys were removed, the donor began dialysis treatment and received a kidney from his mother, but it stopped functioning about a month later and he was put back on dialysis.

In February, Mannami performed another transplant on the man, using another unhealthy kidney. That kidney is functioning well and Mannami checks his progress once a month, the Uwajima Tokushukai sources said.

He is known to have participated in 11 of unhealthy-kidney transplants at Uwajima Tokushukai Hospital since April 2004, when he began working there.

Until that time, he had worked at Uwajima Municipal Hospital.

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