An Austrian intensive care specialist has been sentenced in absentia to life in prison in Dubai for euthanasia. Eugen Adelsmayr, however, is in Austria and plans to stay there. He can only appeal the sentence if he returns to Dubai.
The Adelsmayr case has been big news in Austria, where the doctor has published a book about his experience, Von einem, der auszog, a reference to a Grimm Brothers fairy tale about a youth who went abroad to discover what fear was.
In 2009, Dr Adelsmayr was working in the intensive care unit of Rashid Hospital. The court claims that he “allowed a quadriplegic patient, Ghulam Mohammed, to die after (he) shut down his life-support system.” He “issued DNR (Do Not Resuscitate)” orders to the staff and then “supervised” their implementation.
Dr Adelsmayr heatedly denies this. He says that an Indian doctor who was in charge of the patient at the time was acquitted. The verdict is farcical, he says. He says that some of the evidence has been fabricated.
Euthanasia and DNR orders are illegal in the United Arab Emirates. “The orders, which were issued verbally then backed up by writing, violated the medical practice code in Dubai,” said Ashraf al-Houthy, a medical consultant on the hospital committee assigned to investigate the incident. State prosecutors had sought the death penalty. ~ Austrian Independent, Oct 22
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