Two dead patients: cardiologist from the Berlin Charité arrested on suspicion of murder

After the death of two seriously ill patients at the traditional Charité in Berlin, a cardiologist is suspected of murder.

Two dead patients: cardiologist from the Berlin Charité arrested on suspicion of murder

After the death of two seriously ill patients at the traditional Charité in Berlin, a cardiologist is suspected of murder. The 55-year-old was arrested on Monday, according to prosecutors and the police. The doctor is suspected of having knowingly administered such high doses of a sedative to patients in the intensive care unit in two cases in 2021 and 2022 that they died. According to the public prosecutor, the man was released from the Charité in August 2022.

According to their own statements, the public prosecutor's office had started investigations based on a complaint from the university hospital. However, the urgent suspicion only arose after a medical report had been drawn up. The public prosecutor's office then obtained an arrest warrant. The doctor was then arrested on Monday morning. The 55-year-old was to be brought before an investigating judge at the Tiergarten district court on the same day.

According to the investigators, before the report was available, it could not be ruled out that the high dosage of the sedative would still have been medically justifiable. According to the expert's assessment, however, this was not the case in at least two of the four deaths examined. This should therefore also have been recognizable for the accused.

According to a spokesman for the public prosecutor's office, it is still unclear whether further deaths in the Charité must be investigated. The investigators have not yet assumed that the doctor could be asked for support by the seriously ill patient. "According to the current status of the investigation, there is no evidence that the patient would have asked for euthanasia," said the spokesman for the authorities.

The Charité explained the background to the suspicion that in August 2022 an anonymous tip about "an unlawful medical procedure resulting in death" had been received. According to this, this is said to have happened at the Charité location in Wedding - in the medical clinic with a focus on cardiology, angiology and intensive care medicine on the Virchow-Klinikum campus.

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"The Charité took the information very seriously, immediately released the suspected specialist and immediately initiated all other necessary measures to protect potentially affected groups of people," said a hospital spokesman.

The university hospital cooperated with the public prosecutor's office "fully to clarify the facts" right from the start. The Charité is currently unable to publish any further information due to the ongoing investigation, it said. The traditional Charité is one of the largest university hospitals in Europe and one of the largest employers in Berlin. It is famous for Nobel Prize winners such as Emil von Behring, Robert Koch and Paul Ehrlich. Above all, the high-rise bed in Mitte is known nationally - but in fact the patient care is spread over three locations in Berlin.

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