New drug doctor trial started

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New proceedings against the so-called drug doctor started

The doctor and psychotherapist from Berlin, who became known in the media as a drug doctor, has been on trial again today. The procedure for the distribution of a fatal drug cocktail to several patients will be reopened before the Berlin district court after the successful revision against the first verdict.

The doctor had treated seven patients with the dangerous drug cocktail, a 59-year-old pensioner and a 28-year-old student had died as a result, while the other patients suffered considerable health problems such as symptoms of intoxication and impaired consciousness. The original judgment of the Berlin district court against the admitted medical doctor of four years and nine months imprisonment for bodily harm resulting in death and dangerous bodily harm was overturned by the Federal Court of Justice after a corresponding revision. The new trial against the so-called drug doctor started today.

Doctor administers drug cocktail with fatal consequences As part of a "psycholytic intensive session", the doctor gave seven patients a cocktail of partially illegal drugs in September 2009 - with catastrophic consequences. Two patients died as a result of the treatment, and five more had to be treated in the hospital with symptoms of poisoning and impaired consciousness. The accused psychotherapist took direct responsibility, but did not agree with the first judgment of the Berlin Regional Court. In May 2010, the judges sentenced him to nearly five years imprisonment for death and dangerous bodily harm. The court had also issued a lifelong ban on the profession. The accused doctor then went into revision because the intent of bodily harm assumed in the judgment had not existed and, in his opinion, could not be proven in the reason for the judgment.

Did negligence lead to patient death? When treating the revision, the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled that the intent of bodily harm was not "understandable" in the judgment of the Berlin Regional Court and that a new procedure had to be carried out to determine whether the doctor had acted "negligent" instead. Because all patients who had taken the drug cocktail would have done this "by hand and knowingly", so that "self-endangering themselves" should be taken into account in the verdict, the BGH declared in January and referred the case back to the Berlin Regional Court. As of today, eight negotiation days are scheduled to make a corresponding judgment taking negligence into account. The accused doctor can therefore hope for a somewhat milder judgment, but even if "negligence causes the death of a person", a "prison sentence of up to five years" is provided for in accordance with Section 222 of the Criminal Code (StGB). (fp)

Image: Gerd Altmann /

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