French doctor investigated over ‘poisoning’ deaths

A French anaesthetist in the city of Besançon is being investigated over 24 cases of poisoning, including 9 deaths. Frederic Pechier, 47, has been under investigation for two years. During this time he has been banned from practicing medicine. If convicted, he could spend life in jail.

Local prosecutor Etienne Manteaux told the media that Pechier was often found close by when the cases occurred. He diagnosed the problem quickly – perhaps too quickly. Police suspect that he was creating emergencies in the operating theatre so that he could show off his talents.

Pechier has denied the allegations, but is pessimistic about his future. "Whatever the outcome of all this, my career is over. I will never be able to work anywhere again. You cannot trust a doctor who, at one point, has been labelled a poisoner. It'll stay all my life. My family is broken and I am afraid for my children. For me, the only way to survive during training is to go to battle. "

Michael Cook is editor of BioEdge  

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