A 51-year-old pretended to be a doctor and used forged documents to get a job in a hospital in Fritzlar, Hesse. This had deadly consequences. Now the woman has been convicted.
Because she was striving for “power and recognition”, a 51-year-old woman used a forged license to obtain a job as an anesthesiologist, according to the Kassel Regional Court, and caused the deaths of several patients. The 6th Grand Criminal Court sentenced the woman to life imprisonment on Wednesday – including three counts of murder, attempted murder in ten counts and three counts of dangerous bodily harm.
The judges also noted the particular gravity of the guilt. This makes it more difficult for the convict to get out of prison after 15 years. With the verdict, the court followed the demands of the public prosecutor’s office.
The defendant, a stocky woman with dark hair that she wears long and braided, accepted the verdict with her head bowed. She cried at times, hunched over. She shook her head again and again while following the explanations of the presiding judge, Volker Mütze. She had not commented during the trial. Only in her last word in court after the non-public pleas by the prosecution and defense did she show understanding and remorse, reported Mütze.
Fake license to practice license was discovered when changing jobs
Her career has been intricate: sometimes she studied biology, sometimes dentistry. She completed an alternative practitioner exam and numerous internships. Graduation and doctorate were finally in biology. However, the University of Kassel has since withdrawn her doctorate for plagiarism. She is said to have bought a second doctorate on the Internet. The 51-year-old does not have completed training as a doctor.
According to Richter Mütze, she obtained a job at the Holy Spirit Hospital in Fritzlar (Schwalm-Eder-Kreis) in Hesse with a forged license to practice medicine. She has worked there as an assistant doctor in anesthesia since 2015. In 2018 she moved to the rehabilitation area of a clinic in Schleswig-Holstein – according to investigators, again under false information. But when the medical association changed, inconsistencies in their documents were discovered. The defendant turned herself in for employment fraud, as did the Hessian Medical Association and her former employer.
Woman on trial for five counts of murder
Since January 2021, the woman has been on trial for five murders in conjunction with illegal practice of medicine, attempted murder in eleven cases in conjunction with dangerous bodily harm and forgery. The public prosecutor demanded the maximum penalty, the defense pleaded for eight years in prison for dangerous bodily harm in 16 cases.
After 49 days of hearings, during which more than 500 expert opinions were introduced and around 500 witnesses were heard, the Kassel district court saw it as proven that the accused had killed three patients through treatment errors. In ten other deaths, the woman’s anesthesia could not be clearly identified as the cause.
According to the judge, the accused dosed the wrong narcotics, among other things. In his almost three-hour reasoning, he explained that it caused a lack of oxygen, damage to the cardiovascular system and organ failure in the victims. She carried out treatments – even on high-risk patients – even though she knew she lacked the skills and training to do so. “She knew that she was doing a job that she couldn’t do. It wasn’t about the job itself, it was about the status associated with working as an anesthetist,” explained Mütze.
The 51-year-old is fully culpable and acted out of base motives. The presiding judge emphasized that she was concerned with self-expression. She had no direct intention to kill – because death is certainly not suitable for self-portrayal. But there would be a conditional intent to kill. He explained that she accepted the deaths of the patients in order to distinguish herself. You overestimated yourself. She was well aware of the risk to her patients.
Defense wants to appeal
The verdict is not yet legally binding. The defense announced that it would appeal. His client has been involved in more than 500 successful operations. She had no reason to doubt her own abilities, said lawyer Sven Schoeller. He also accused the accused’s chief physician of having sufficiently fulfilled his duty of supervision.
The Fritzlarer Hospital itself announced through a spokesman that the verdict would punish acts whose cause can be attributed to a high level of criminal energy on the part of the accused. “The convict not only deceived the clinic and her colleagues and also the state medical association, but above all she put patients in mortal danger and, according to the court, even killed her.”