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APPEALS COURT FINES SUSPECTS IN STEM CELL CASE

 

The court of appeals of Budapest has upheld fines on businessman Imre Pákh and others for applying illegal stem cell treatments, for remuneration, on patients in a serious or terminal condition, but threw out their prison sentences. The public prosecutor pressed charges against the defendants in 2012 for 21 illegal procedures performed between 2007 and 2009. According to the primary sentence passed in the repeat procedure in 2016, the defendants misled their patients concerning the treatment and violated the rules of research on living people as well as the prohibition of abusing the human body. The defendants were then handed 10-12 months suspended prison sentences. Pákh was fined 9 million forints (EUR 28,000), and smaller fines were imposed on several others.

The court of appeals, in its final sentence, accepted the fact that the defendants had informed their patients that the efficacy of their treatments was unproven and that the patients signed relevant waivers, and acquitted them of charges of fraudulent activities and misleading or harming their patients. The court also appreciated the argument that the defendants were seeking to finance further stem cell research from their profits and obtain legal permits they did not have at the time of the procedures.