Surgeons At Italy's 'Clinic Of Horrors' Jailed For Unnecessary Operations

In a case that seems lifted from a Wes Craven movie script, eight Italian doctors have been slapped with jail time for carrying out 83 unnecessary operations including breast and lung removal on patients, the BBC is reporting.

Head surgeon Pier Paolo Brega Massone reportedly received the heftiest sentence -- 15 and a half years -- for overseeing the various procedures. The judge is quoted by the BBC as calling Brega Massone "cruel, malevolent and lacking the slightest sense of human pity," and ruled the surgeon had given a mastectomy to a patient with a minor breast ailment, and opted to remove an elderly woman's lung over three operations when the procedure only required one.

According to the Telegraph, at least five additional patients are said to have died from undergoing operations at Milan's Santa Rita Clinic -- dubbed the "clinic of horrors" by the Italian media -- under Brega Massone's supervision. Most of them were elderly patients in frail condition.

Malone's assistants Pietro Fabio Presicci and Marco Pansera were reportedly sentenced to 10 years and six years, nine months respectively, while five others received sentences of three years to 18 months.

Brega Massone has slammed the charges and defended himself as "the scapegoat."