BERLIN (AP) — A German court convicted a midwife on seven counts of attempted murder Friday for secretly administering blood thinners to women shortly before they were to give birth by cesarean section.
The Munich state court sentenced the 35-year-old defendant, identified only as Regina K. in line with German privacy rules, to 15 years in prison and banned her for life from dispensing medicine. She also was convicted of grievous bodily harm in two of the seven cases.
The woman had denied the charges but presiding judge Michael Hoehne said she was the only person who had access to all the patients in Bad Soden, near Frankfurt, and at a Munich hospital.
The court found that, in six cases, she administered high doses of heparin to women undergoing cesarean sections, causing severe bleeding after the births. Two of the women had to have their wombs removed in emergency operations.
In the remaining case, the defendant allegedly gave a patient a drug used to treat women undergoing miscarriages or abortions, resulting in complications that made an emergency cesarean section necessary to save mother and child.
Hoehne said the defendant was frustrated by a perceived lack of recognition and "wanted to work off her anger by creating crisis situations," news agency dpa reported.
Prosecutors had asked for a life prison sentence. Defense lawyer Hermann Kuehn, who had sought the midwife's acquittal, said he would contest the ruling.
"We will appeal the verdict and continue fighting so that our client can ultimately free herself of this stain," he said.