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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Warsaw. The doctor transplanted a kidney from a stray dog. Supreme Court ruling

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On Wednesday, the Supreme Court once again ruled on the transplantation of a kidney taken from a stray dog. It was then transplanted into a purebred dog. This time it was about the professional responsibility of a veterinarian. However, the case was suspended until the criminal decision was made. The retrial in the first instance is scheduled to start in May.

– Tosia, the dog who donated a kidney in the case that will be discussed in this room, is still alive, doing perfectly well, and lives at my house. Saturn, which started the media fuss about kidney transplants from homeless people to owner-owned dogs, lived for 10 years after the transplant and did not suffer any health damage – said veterinarian Jacek S. in front of the Chamber of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court.

He announced that he is determined to seek justice, because it is not only about his reputation, but also about the future of transplants, which are life-saving procedures in animals, just like in humans.

– In other countries they have been practiced for years, very often on the same principle as mine: a house for a kidney – he explained. According to S., the argument about the lack of consent is incorrect because the dog does not consent to, for example, castration.

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In his opinion, the case was “hyped” by publicity-hungry pro-animal organizations and a competing veterinary clinic.

Saturn's kidney was transplanted into a breeding dogViva! Foundation, private archive of the Saturn family

More about this case: They adopted Saturn from a shelter, his kidney was transplanted into a purebred dog >>>

“Behind all this there is animal suffering”

Wednesday's case concerned a warning given by a doctor. vet. Jacek S. disciplinary court of the National Chamber of Veterinary Medicine. His colleagues found that he had violated the provisions of the Animal Protection Act, which states that medical and veterinary procedures on animals are permitted to save their life or health and to reduce the population.

Supreme Court judge Barbara Skoczkowska, after briefly reporting on the case which, pursuant to another ruling of the Supreme Court, was referred for reconsideration in the first instance, informed the parties that it would be sensible to suspend the proceedings until the decision is made.

– Only a common court has the competence to determine whether an act constitutes a crime – she said.

National Ombudsman for Medical Professional Responsibility. vet. Rafał Michałowski did not raise any objections, although he warned: “we are losing the point of the matter, behind all this lies the suffering of animals.”

Saturn's kidney was transplanted into a breeding dogViva! Foundation, private archive of the Saturn family

More about this case: They removed his kidney and transplanted it to a purebred dog. The Saturn case returns to the docket >>>

The District Court acquitted the accused

Katarzyna Topczewska, attorney-at-law, filed a report on the suspicion of committing a crime of abuse against Saturn and Tosia on behalf of the Viva Foundation. Saturn's new guardian and the Mondo Cane Foundation also became auxiliary prosecutors.

In the first proceedings, the District Court for Warsaw Mokotów in Warsaw acquitted the accused of the offenses charged, stating that the accused had acted in a state of extreme necessity, saving a more important good – the life of an animal. On appeal, the District Court referred the case for reconsideration, and the Supreme Court had the same opinion. Therefore, the process will start again in two weeks. Unlike Wednesday's hearing regarding one dog, the district court is expected to rule on both.

Wednesday's decision of the Supreme Court, which suspended the proceedings until the end of the criminal proceedings, means that the judges will return to the issue of Jacek S.'s professional liability only when a final judgment is passed in the criminal case.

Main photo source: Viva! Foundation, private archive of the Saturn family



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