Cardiologist sentenced to four years over patients deaths

A 56-year-old senior cardiologist has been sentenced to four years in prison by a court in Berlin after it held the medical practitioner responsible for the killing of two patients with overdoses of the anesthetic Propofol.

The physician at Berlin’s Charité hospital was found guilty of two counts of manslaughter over the death of the two patients – a 73-year-old man who died in 2021 and a 73-year-old woman who died in 2022 – 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 cardiologist further argued that he administered a sedative to the two patients 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 practicing medicine for life.

The verdict is not final though.

The doctor’s defense 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.



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