An Austrian commission has ordered the Medical University of Innsbruck to rehire a doctor who committed several ethical lapses.
Urologist Hans Strasser was dismissed from his post at the university after patients in his trial complained of problems. Strasser was testing a stem cell therapy for urinary continence, but many patients did not improve and some had their bladder seal closed. Several of those patients are now suing Strasser for grievous bodily harm.
The Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety investigated and found that the trial was illegal. Strasser failed to get proper approval for the trial, did not inform his patients about the type of procedure they underwent, and may have forged documents, Nature reports. In addition, Strasser reportedly gave the unapproved treatment to some 400 people not involved in the trial. Shortly after the agency reported its findings, Strasser was suspended. The University’s own investigation, concluded earlier this year, also found an extensive history of misconduct.
But an Austrian employment commission is now requiring the Medical University of Innsbruck to reinstate Strasser, based on the outcome of a lawsuit the university brought against Strasser. The court claimed there was no proof Strasser had intended deception. The University plans to appeal the decision, Nature reports.