Supreme Court upholds doctor's acquittal for misdiaganosing patients
The Supreme Court also acquitted former neurologist Ernst Janen Steur for intentionally giving patients wrong diagnoses. In 2014 the court in Almelo convicted Jansen Steur and sentenced him to three years in prison. Last year the court acquitted him of the main charge. The acquittal is sufficiently motivated, according to the court, NU.nl reports.
Until 2003 Jansen Steur worked as a neurologist at the Medical Spectrum Twente. In the years he worked there he misdiagnosed several patients, with Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis and other serious illnesses they did not in fact suffer from. As a result patients took unnecessary medication for years.
In 2014 the court ruled that Jansen Steur's actions resulted in serious damage to his patients' health. The neurologist had no medical evidence for his diagnoses and systematically ignore subsequent signals that his diagnoses were incorrect. The court also considered it proven that one patient committed suicide after hearing a false diagnosis of a fatal disease. The neurologist was sentenced to three years in prison.
Last year the court acquitted Jansen Steur on appeal. While the court can not deny that the neurologist made the wrong diagnoses, there is no or little evidence that he did so intentionally. During the appeal, experts stated that Jansen Steur had diminished responsibility due to previous addictions to alcohol and drugs. His lawyer also claimed he sustained brain damage during a car accident.
On Tuesday the Supreme Court upheld this ruling, stating that the acquittal is sufficiently motivated.