From red / AFP
A 43-year-old doctor attributes a serious mistake to the lack of a control system. She had amputated a man’s leg – it was the wrong one.
Vienna – Because she amputated the wrong leg of a patient, a surgeon in Austria was sentenced to a fine of 2,700 euros, half of which was suspended. The 43-year-old doctor was guilty of grossly negligent bodily harm, the Linz Regional Court sentenced on Wednesday. In the proceedings, she merely admitted to having “made a mistake”, but denied “gross negligence”.
The doctor and the public prosecutor’s office can appeal
The case concerned an 82-year-old patient who had died in the meantime and had a thigh amputation on his left leg. Before the operation in Freistadt, the surgeon had marked the right leg and only noticed the error two days after the amputation. The doctor argued that this was a case of “human error” and that the control mechanisms for such interventions were inadequate. She now works in another clinic.
The court awarded the patient’s widow, who appeared as a joint plaintiff, 5,000 euros in compensation for pain and suffering. The verdict is not yet legally binding. The doctor and the public prosecutor’s office appeal.