Bad Surgeon: Love Under the Knife (2023) | A Netflix docuseries: The terrifying story of Dr. Paolo Macchiarini

Bad Surgeon: Love Under the Knife
Alice Lange
Alice Lange

Bad Surgeon: Love Under the Knife is a documentary directed by Ben Steele.

A doctor who, seemingly, performed miracles, promising the impossible: creating new organs and replacing them with a laboratory-grown one, made with stem cells.

The technique was apparently as innovative as it was simple: the organ was reproduced in plastic, covered with the patient’s own stem cells, and implanted into the artificial organ, creating a new and functional one.

At the forefront was a pioneer idolized by all, treated almost like a god, Dr. Paolo Macchiarini, a surgeon who worked with stem cells and created organs out of thin air through an experimental treatment that couldn’t be performed in the United States.

But Dr. Macchiarini worked in Sweden, at the Karolinska Hospital, famous for its Nobel prizes in medicine. He was charming, romantic, famous, and capable of helping terminally ill patients.

(And, to top it off, he lived like a millionaire, traveling the world, speaking multiple languages with 5 or 6 phones).

What more could you ask for from a James Bond of medicine?

Clearly, the story of this famous doctor soon faded, and everything pointed to a serious problem: the doctor’s patients were dying.

The doctor did not stop there, because the doctor obtained permission to (elsewhere) perform this surgery on healthy, young patients.

And that is precisely when the story takes on a dark and terrifying tone.

About the Documentary

“Bad Surgeon: Love Under the Knife” is a documentary about frauds and medicine, a three-episode documentary that exposes the life and supposed “miracles” of the doctor, and how they ultimately led to a major fraud.

A great opportunity to learn the story of this doctor in a well-made documentary that includes interviews, videos of the doctor himself, and narrates, like a true crime story, the tale of this man who turned medicine into a marketing trick to simply commit a fraud.

There is nothing new or daring about the cinematography or the documentary proposal, and it doesn’t have to be because the story is so impactful that it speaks for itself. With the testimonials of the victims, not much else is needed: there are not too many dramatizations and there’s no need to seek attention in aesthetics, because it is such a brutal story with such a powerful character that the viewer simply has to keep watching.

Our Opinion

A powerful story of fraud and deception, this time in the field of medicine, for those who want to delve into this harsh and heartbreaking tale.

Release Date

November 29, 2023

Where to Watch “Bad Surgeon: Love Under the Knife”


About Paolo Macchiarini

Paolo Macchiarini, a Swiss-born Italian thoracic surgeon and former regenerative medicine researcher, rose to prominence for his groundbreaking work in trachea transplants. However, his career was marred by allegations of research fraud, misconduct, and manipulative behavior. Macchiarini’s controversial actions have led to criminal convictions in Italy and Sweden, numerous retractions of his research papers, and the downfall of esteemed institutions like the Karolinska Institute. In this article, we will delve into the life and controversies surrounding Paolo Macchiarini, highlighting the key events that shaped his career and ultimately led to his downfall. Read More

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