Monday 19 August 2019

Prosecutors probe anaesthetist who allegedly poisoned patients so he could save their lives

Anaesthetist Frederic Pechier (47) is suspected of injecting lethal doses of potassium chloride to trigger cardiac arrests on the operating table. (stock photo)
Anaesthetist Frederic Pechier (47) is suspected of injecting lethal doses of potassium chloride to trigger cardiac arrests on the operating table. (stock photo)

Peter Stubley

A French doctor poisoned patients during surgery so he could show off his skills by saving their lives, according to prosecutors.

Anaesthetist Frederic Pechier (47) is suspected of injecting lethal doses of potassium chloride to trigger cardiac arrests on the operating table.

He has been charged over a total of 24 suspicious incidents involving the deaths of nine people at a private clinic in the eastern city of Besancon.

"Pechier appears as the common denominator for these . . . events that seem related to an acute conflict with other anaesthetists or surgeons at the Saint-Vincent clinic," said prosecutor Etienne Manteaux.

The anaesthetist is believed to have tampered with patients' perfusion bags.

His alleged victims were aged between four and 80 at the time of the incidents, which date back to 2008.

Dr Pechier's colleagues are said to have become suspicious at how quickly he was able to diagnose the anaesthetic overdoses.

He was first placed under investigation in May 2017.

Dr Pechier, who has been suspended from practising, denies the charges but told reporters his career is "over" whatever the case's outcome.

"You cannot trust a doctor who, at one point, has been labelled a poisoner," he said.

He faces a life sentence if convicted of the allegations.

Irish Independent

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