German fake doctor sentenced to life in prison for patient death

A German court on Wednesday sentenced a woman who pretended to be a doctor to life in prison for killing several people she had treated.

Judges at the Kassel District Court have found evidence that under Germany’s privacy regulations, an unnamed 51-year-old woman used a counterfeit license to work as an anesthesiologist.

Judges have determined that three patients died as a result of a treatment error and another patient suffered serious injuries, German news agency dpa reported. They sentenced the woman to three counts of murder and ten counts of attempted murder.

The judges made it difficult for women to be released after 15 years because of the nature of the crime. That’s the length of time people sentenced to life in Germany must serve in order to be considered for release.

Prosecutors charged the woman for misusing an anesthetic and not treating her blood poisoning at a hospital in Fritzlar, a town near Kassel.

She was also responsible for several hours of oxygen starvation and cardiovascular damage and organ failure in patients, reported dpa.

Prosecutors allege that the woman acted on the basis of an excessive need for recognition.

After working at the Fritzlar hospital from 2015 to 2018, the woman moved to a hospital in northern Germany.

Officials from the local medical association flagged inconsistencies in her records, and she eventually surrendered on charges of employment fraud. The Hesse Medical Association and her former employer also reported her.

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