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The Gunma University Hospital has announced that eight of its patients who underwent laparoscopic surgeries to remove part of their livers died within roughly 100 days after their operations. The hospital’s investigative committee, which include outside experts, as well as the health ministry should carry out a thorough probe to find out what went wrong and determine what corrective measures need to be taken. If necessary, punitive steps should be taken not only against the doctor who performed the operations but also against Gunma University Hospital.

The doctor, who is in his 40s and belongs to the hospital’s second surgery section, carried out laparoscopic operations on 92 patients from December 2010 to June 2014 and eight of them ranging in age from their 60s to 80s died within roughly 14 to 100 days after their operations. All the operations were of a type that required screening by the hospital’s ethics committee, but the doctor and other concerned hospital staff failed to go through the screening procedure. The doctor was also found to have skipped some the liver tests that were required before the operations took place.

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