Cardiologist bags 4- year  jail term over patient deaths

BERLIN- A senior cardiologist at Berlin’s Charité hospital has been sentenced to four years in prison over the death of two patients.

The 56-year-old physician was found guilty of two counts of manslaughter by a court in Berlin on Friday after determining that the doctor was responsible for killing the two patients with overdoses of the anaesthetic Propofol.

The patients, a 73-year-old man who died in 2021 and a 73-year-old woman who died in 2022, were being treated at the hospital’s cardiac intensive care unit.

The doctor denied the allegations during the trial and disputed the amount of drugs claimed in the indictment.

The doctor argued he administered a sedative to both of them to reduce their suffering.

Prosecutors had sought murder convictions and a life sentence for the doctor. Public prosecutor Martin Knispel also asked the court to ban the doctor from practising medicine for life.

The verdict is not final.

The doctor’s defence lawyer had asked the court for an acquittal and argued that the physician’s actions were not the cause of the deaths.

Both patients were severely ill and in an “active dying phase,” a condition in which it was permissible to switch to palliative therapy.

During the trial, the doctor said he was certain that he had “not shortened the lives of the patients” and testified that his only mistake was having failed to document the administration of the drug, Propofol, in both cases. (dpa/NAN)

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