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Texas neurosurgeon gets life in prison for deliberately injuring patient

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: (Published 23 February 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j994

A Texas neurosurgeon accused of deliberately botching spinal operations has been sentenced to life in prison, the first US doctor known to have been jailed for acts committed in the course of surgery.

Christopher Duntsch, 46, was initially charged with five counts of aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury and one count of injuring an elderly person,1 but the trial focused on the last charge, which alleged that Duntsch deliberately harmed Mary Efurd, then aged 72, in a 2012 operation that left her in a wheelchair.

“Finally, after four and a half years, justice has been done,” Efurd said after the verdict. “And I hope I’m speaking for all the other families and their loved ones.”

“This is a great day,” said Dallas County district attorney Faith Johnson shortly after the verdict. “We have done something historic. We are so elated about the life sentence.”

“This was …

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