updated 10/17/2011 1:11:44 PM ET 2011-10-17T17:11:44

Two doctors are in court in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on charges they removed organs for transplant from patients who were still alive. The patients later died in the hospital.

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Drs. Pedro Torrecillas and Rui Sacramento are each charged with four homicides in a trial that started Monday. The deaths happened between September and December 1986 in the hospital connected to the University of Taubate, in Sao Paulo state.

Dr. Mariano Fiore Junior is charged as an accomplice.

According to court documents, the doctors used fake death certificates to extract kidneys from the victims, who had agreed to donate organs after their death.

Torrecillas and Sacramento have both pleaded not guilty.

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