Dr Bonnemaison appears in court again


The appeal trial of the former emergency doctor, Nicolas Bonnemaison, accused of having put seven people to death between March 2010 and July 2011 at the Bayonne hospital, and who was initially acquitted in Pau last year, opened this past October 12, 2015 in Angers at the Criminal Court in the Maine-et-Loire department.

Informing neither the caretakers nor the families, Nicolas Bonnemaison proceeded to give lethal injections to elderly people without their permission. He was acquitted by the Court of Appeals in Pau for ‘all counts’ in June 2014, whereas the lawyer had requested 5 years of prison. This acquittal constituted a revealing and frightening verdict. « Taking the facts of this case into account, the attorney general for the court of appeals deemed that it was necessary to appeal the decision” of the Criminal Court, and therefore the Attorney General filed an appeal on July 2, 2014.

None of the families of the victims have pressed charges, but two of them have launched a civil suit, hoping to obtain Nicolas Bonnemaison’s conviction.

In April 2014, the Order of Physicians adopted the decision to remove the former Emergency Physician’s license to practice, and the State Council followed suit, confirming their sanction.

The highest administrative court followed the conclusion of the public rapporteur who recalled during the public audience of December 19, 2014: “under no circumstances, no matter the difficulty of his task, does a doctor have the right to kill.”

It is noteworthy that an appeal against this ruling is pending at the European Court of the Human Rights (ECHR).

This process will be ongoing until October 24. Numerous statements are expected, and more than 60 witnesses are scheduled to appear. The witnesses include the victims’ families, the medical personnel, and also Jean Léonetti and previous ministers, Bernard Kouchner (Health) and Michèle Delaunay (Elderly People).

Whatever the motives for the appeal, the crimes for which Nicolas Bonnemaison was acquitted in Pau, and for which he is now being tried, make him liable for the penalty of life imprisonment.


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