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A French anesthesiologist was accused of poisoning 24 patients. He tried to impress his colleagues with talent resuscitator

The doctor, who denies his guilt, was left free until the trial.


Frederick Peschier  Photo Getty

The French Prosecutor’s Office has filed charges against 47-year-old anaesthesiologist Frédéric Péchier with poisoning 17 patients. A total of 24 cases are incriminated to the doctor, nine of which ended in death.

According to the authorities, Peschie provoked cardiac arrest in patients during operations and pumped them out at the last second to show himself a “hero.” The doctor faces life imprisonment, but he awaits trial on freedom.

The doctor probably wanted to hit colleagues after the conflict

In total, investigators studied more than 66 suspicious cases of cardiac arrest during operations with a low risk of developing complications. According to the state prosecution, from 2008 to 2016, Peschier poisoned 24 patients in two private clinics of Besançon (eastern France).

For the first time, the Foot has attracted the attention of security forces in 2017. During searches in one of the clinics where he worked, they found two containers with lethal volumes of potassium and lidocaine. According to preliminary data from the investigation, the doctor quietly injected them into the blood of patients, deliberately causing heart problems.

The patients of different ages were probably the victims of the doctor: the smallest of them, a four-year-old boy, got on the operating table in February 2016. While the child was removing the tonsils, he experienced cardiac arrest twice – but the anesthesiologist resuscitated him. The most adult patient who had similar heart problems was 80 years old.

The state prosecution has not yet established the motives of Peschie, but presumably he wanted, “saving” lives, to amaze other employees with the talent of a resuscitator. According to the authorities, the number of incidents increased in times of intense conflict between the anesthesiologist and his colleagues.

The court found no grounds for the arrest of the anesthesiologist.

The prosecutor’s office called for the arrest of Peschie, but admitted that she had only “indirect” evidence against the doctor. As a result, the doctor was left free before the trial, but rather under judicial supervision. The family of possible victims of the doctor categorically disagreed with this decision.

As French journalists explain , the court did not find objective grounds for imprisoning Peschie. One of the criteria for arrest may be the risk that the person involved in the case will again harm the patients, but this definitely will not happen: the doctor was removed from work and deprived of the license. The risk that Peschie runs away is also minimal: in two years he never intervened in the course of the investigation and did not put pressure on witnesses.

Peschier denies his guilt, and his defense insists that the investigators did not produce iron evidence. “The hypothesis remains only a hypothesis,” said his lawyer Jean-Yves Le Born. So far, the anesthesiologist lives in the west of France, but the state prosecution has already filed an appeal against the court decision.

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