Medical malpractice doesn’t happen only in the United States. On the contrary, cases of doctors’ negligence occur even more frequently in countries abroad, due in part to less stringent safety regulations, poor conditions and more lax medical practices. A recent case in Germany, however, has nothing to do with unsanitary conditions. It’s a shocking case of blatant medical malpractice – for which the doctor responsible has been charged criminally.
Arnold Pier, director of a small private hospital in Wegberg, is being charged with causing bodily harm resulting in death for using lemon juice instead of sterile solutions to clean and disinfect his patients’ surgical wounds. There are 64 counts against him involving 18 patients.
On Friday Pier was found guilty on one of those counts and sentenced to 15 months for the death of an unnamed woman who died as a result of a severe infection from the use of lemon juice in her wound. The court found that the woman was not given informed consent about the unconventional treatment and therefore did not know the risks involved.
Court documents revealed that Pier regularly instructed hospital staff to use lemon juice, which was not properly sterilized, in the treatment of wounds as a way to cut costs for the struggling medical facility. Prosecutors also allege that Pier conducted several unnecessary surgeries including kidney and gall bladder removals, as a way to make more money.
The judge presiding over the case called the acts committed a clear case of medical malpractice. There are several additional cases pending against Pier regarding other patients who lost their lives due to his negligence.