Health Care

Nurse going on trial in Germany over 100 patient deaths

Nurse going on trial in Germany over 100 patient deaths”

On his first day of trial, Niels Hoegel, 41, admitted to killing 100 patients between 2000 and 2005 in northern Germany by injecting them with lethal drugs and trying to resuscitate them, an attempt that often failed, according to German broadcaseter NDR Fernsehen.

Högel carried out the mindless murders at two hospitals in the cities of Oldenburg and Delmenhorst.

"We will do our utmost to learn the truth", he said, DW reported. Prisoners serving life sentences are usually considered for parole after 15 years. Niels Högel is now serving a life sentence for killing two patients.

The main building of the former Klinikum Delmenhorst hospital (now Josef-Hospital), where former male nurse Niels H. allegedly killed dozens of patients.

The choice of victim appears to have been entirely random, with their ages ranging from 34 to 96.

Before taking the stand on Tuesday, Hoegel had only acknowledged around 30 murders, all of them committed in Delmenhorst.

Prosecutors say he was motivated by vanity, to show off his skills at saving human lives, and by simple "boredom". That prompted investigators to take a closer look at suspicious deaths in Oldenburg.

Each time, the nurse followed a similar procedure; he would inject his patient with a medication triggering a cardiac arrest, which would follow an attempted resuscitation.

Christian Marbach, whose grandfather was killed by Hoegel, described him to the Heidelberg Heraut newspaper as a "sad guy who gave himself God's powers".

When he managed to revive a patient, he was sated, but only for a few days, the expert said, adding: "For him, it was like a drug".

He is now charged with a further 97 murders, having confessed to a prison psychologist that the true extent of his killing spree was far larger than supposed.

Hoegel has already served ten years of his "life sentence" but the Post says a life sentence in Germany usually amounts to about 15 years.

Police have said if local health officials had not hesitated in alerting authorities, Hoegel could have been stopped earlier.

Asked by the judge why he didn't admit to the remaining murders before now, Hoegel said it was "out of shame" and because it took him a long time to face up to what he had done at the first hospital. Investigators are building a case against former staff at both facilities where Hoegel said he killed his patients.

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