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Doctors face manslaughter charge for failing to raise alarm over killer nurse

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: (Published 01 December 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i6507
  1. Ned Stafford
  1. Hamburg

Two senior doctors and four nurses in Germany are facing criminal charges of negligent manslaughter for not having taken action to remove a nurse from the intensive care unit in which they strongly suspected him to be murdering patients with overdoses of heart drugs.

Prosecutors said that the six people failed to carry out their duty to protect patients under their care. Because of their inaction, which occurred in 2005, the nurse was able to kill three more patients and to attempt to kill two others before he left the hospital. Conviction of negligent manslaughter carries a sentence of five to 15 years in prison.

The new charges concern the case of a nurse, identified publicly in Germany only as Niels H, because …

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