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Surgeon tied to false rumor of papal brain tumor faces new charges

April 06, 2016

A surgeon who gained notoriety last year because of a false report that he had treated Pope Francis for a brain tumor now faces new scrutiny, because of charges that he sought money from patients to give them preferred treatment on a waiting list.

Dr. Takanori Fukushima, a Japanese native, is at the center of an investigation into practices in a hospital in Salerno, Italy, where he sometimes practices. Two doctors and a nurse at the hospital were arrested on April 5; Fukushima does not face immediate arrest since he is now living in the US, but police reported "serious" evidence that he is involved in misconduct.

Last year an Italian tabloid reported that Fukushima had secretly visited the Vatican to treat Pope Francis for a brain tumor. After the Vatican categorically denied the story, Fukushima said that he had met the Pontiff only briefly, at a public audience, and had never examined or treated him. 



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