Doctor refused help; Patient died

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Doctor refused help; Patient died: The professional court for health professions in Giessen sentenced a doctor to a fine totaling 3000 euros. The court found it proven that the general practitioner had violated his professional duties.

In the present case, a doctor was assigned to the nightly emergency service. Family members and a senior citizen drove to an ambulance as the elderly lady complained of ailments. But even after ringing the doorbell several times, no one answered the door. A little later the elderly lady died. However, the accused medic denied the fact that he knowingly did not open the door. Rather, he waited in vain for the patient between 11 p.m. and 11:20 p.m. on the day in question.

However, the court came to the conclusion that the relatives actually rang the doorbell in vain. The reasons for the judgment stated that a doctor who is assigned to emergency service in accordance with his obligation under Section 23 of the Hessian Health Professions Act must examine all patients who ask for medical help. For this, the doctor must not only be available by phone, but also actually in his practice. Since the relatives rang the bell in vain, the doctor could not be found. The court sentenced the doctor to a total fine of 3,000 euros. In addition, the general practitioner was reprimanded for “violating the professional duties of a doctor”. (sb, Nov 8, 2010)

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