Two Coronavirus patients in a German hospital died after a senior doctor allegedly administrated medication which led the terminally ill patients to their immediate death, said Essen police on Friday, November 20.
The authorities are currently investigating the circumstances of the deaths of those two patients, aged 47 and 50, who were being treated for Coronavirus caused disease, COVID-19. The doctor, who is now facing manslaughter charges, has been working since February this year at the University Hospital in Essen city in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). The 44-year-old doctor was arrested on Wednesday, November 18, and is in custody, said police.
The Suspicious Deaths
Both the patients died on November 13 and 17. As per the hospital, the suspicion about the deaths had prompted it to suspend the doctor and notify the prosecutors immediately.
According to the Essen police, in one case the accused stated that he wanted to end the further sufferings of the COVID-19 patient and his relatives. Reports claimed that both the deceased patients had been in very critical condition in the doctor's ward, which is believed to be the ward treating Coronavirus infected patients.
The doctor allegedly gave lethal injections to the patients that led to their deaths. According to the newspaper Bild, the doctor informed the patients' families before administering the injections. The prosecutors said they are currently unable to release further details of the incidents as the investigation is ongoing.
However, as per a court ruling issued last year, in Germany, ill patients can request help in ending their lives. But it is unclear whether this happened in the case of both COVID-19 patients or not. Assisted death is particularly sensitive in Germany because of the legacy of the Holocaust when the Nazis killed six million Jews.
In terms of the Coronavirus situation in Germany, as of Saturday, November 21 over 914,000 people got infected and more than 13,000 Germans have died due to COVID-19. The Essen city is part of Germany's western industrial region, which is experiencing one of the country's most severe outbreaks of the global pandemic and about 166 infection cases have been diagnosed per 100,000 population over the past week.