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German midwife jailed for attempting to kill pregnant women

A midwife has been jailed after being found guilty of seven counts of attempting to murder women who were due to deliver their babies by cesarean section. Regina K. administered blood thinners before surgery.

The 35-year-old midwife received a 15-year jail sentence by the Munich regional court, on seven counts of the attempted murder of patients.  She was also banned from ever practicing as a midwife again.

In addition to the attempted murder charges, K. was also found guilty of offenses of causing bodily harm.

K. was said to have administered heparin, an intravenous blood thinning agent, to women in Bad Soden, near the city of Frankfurt. The court said it was satisfied that the prosecution had proved the case. Defense lawyer Hermann Kühn said his client would appeal the ruling.

Born in the city of Giessen, K. was said to have studied as a midwife in the northern city of Kiel, where she had ranked among the best students of her class.

Lack of self esteem?

Without emergency operations, the court heard, the women would have bled to death. One woman, who needed 44 blood transfusions in total, was said to be no longer able to have children.

Prosecutors had demanded a life sentence, arguing that K. was motivated by a desire to "demonstrate ... superiority" to "boost her self esteem." The court said it believed K. had committed the crime after becoming disillusioned with her job.

While the trial was held behind closed doors due to the sensitive nature of the medical information that was to be divulged, the verdict was read in public.

Editor's note: Deutsche Welle follows the German press code, which stresses the importance of protecting the privacy of suspected criminals or victims and obliges us to refrain from revealing full names in such cases.

rc/sms (AFP, dpa)

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