In the process of more than 50 hepatitis infections in patients at the hospital in the Swabian town of Donauwörth, the accused doctor wants to testify comprehensively. This was announced by his defense attorney David Herrmann on Wednesday before the trial at the Augsburg Regional Court.

The accused 60-year-old is said to have infected at least 51 patients with hepatitis C in 2017 and 2018 as an anesthetist during operations due to poor hygiene. The criminal court wants to hear numerous witnesses in twelve days of the hearing, and there could be a judgment in mid-July (Az. 200 Js 137689/18).

The case became known almost five years ago and then led to extensive investigations. The health department asked more than 1,700 men and women treated at the Donau-Ries Clinic to be tested for the disease.

Because of an intestinal disease, the anesthetist is said to have diverted opiates that were actually intended for the patients during the surgery for years and administered them himself. The man is said to have violated the rules of hygiene and thus transmitted his own hepatitis C infection to the patients.

Hepatitis C is a disease that often goes undetected, but can also have serious long-term consequences. According to the German Liver Aid, the infection heals on its own in 20 to 50 percent of cases within six months. In the other cases, the liver inflammation becomes chronic and remains in the body. After 20 to 30 years, some people could develop cirrhosis and liver cancer. “However, thanks to new drugs, hepatitis C can almost always be cured today,” emphasizes the self-help association.

German liver aid on hepatitis C Robert Koch Institute on hepatitis C