Fatal treatment errors by the chief physician: lemon juice was given to a patient without consent for wound treatment and, according to the Mönchengladbach report, was guilty of bodily injury and death.
The court now sentenced him to a suspended sentence of one year and three months. The two co-accused doctors were acquitted. In addition, there are said to have been 7 cases of lemon juice wound treatment under the management of the hospital, officially referred to as ascorbic acid treatment. In it, the chief physician and other colleagues are said to be responsible for fatal malpractice in patients between the ages of 50 and 92, and will be responsible for this in court from this month. In total, they are accused of 69 serious treatment errors: the seven deaths mentioned and around 60 bodily harm offenses against patients.
According to the court, the treatment of newly operated patients with non-aseptic lemon juice had experimental status and was done without the consent of those affected. According to media reports, he, as head of the clinic, should have ordered that the lemon juice should be used for wound treatment instead of expensive sterile solutions. Furthermore, from 2006 onwards, he was said to have saved with a rigid savings course in the administration of blood and expensive medication.
Medical malpractice - a hotly debated topic According to the information of the General Patients Association (APV), there are about 30,000 damage cases per year in Germany after so-called medical malpractice, which are reported to medical liability insurance companies to compensate for damage. According to the APV, there are 25,000 deaths annually in Germany due to medical malpractice and a total of 100,000 medical damages. The APV also subdivides the individual causes. According to this, 10,000 deaths are due to poor hygiene, 6,000 deaths “due to non-indicated or incorrect medication prescriptions”, 2,000 deaths due to late damage from unnecessary or improper X-ray applications. The remaining deaths, according to the APV, "are distributed according to the order of severity and frequency among the specialist areas of anesthesia, obstetrics, surgery and orthopedics and the less risky specialist areas".
At the beginning of 2008, the patient safety campaign alliance founded in Düsseldorf in 2005, with the support of the AOK, published a brochure on malpractice. According to their own statements, this was done to bring about a taboo of malpractice. And the financial aspect was also important for the health insurance company. At the time, according to Spiegel Online, the AOK stated that it was faced with around 40,000 allegations of treatment errors each year, of which 2,000 proved to be justified. And, this was remarkable: approx. Twelve million euros in follow-up costs were calculated each year. (Thorsten Fischer, non-medical practitioner osteopath 16.01.2010)
Spiegel article on the outing of doctors and the malpractice brochure