Human rights court: French euthanasia doctor won’t be reinstated

Former French doctor Nicolas Bonnemaison (R) arrives at court in Pau, France, in 2014. File Photo by Laissac Luke/EPA

April 12 (UPI) — The European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday a French doctor who euthanized a terminally ill patient cannot be reinstated to practice medicine.

At issue was a decision by medical officials to strike Nicolas Bonnemaison from its medical register as a general practitioner following claims he caused the deaths of several terminally-ill patients years ago at a hospital in Bayonne, France.

Bonnemaison challenged the decision after he was convicted in 2015 of causing the death of an 86-year-old woman — but acquitted of six others — and given a two-year suspended prison sentence. He argued he should be reinstated because the disciplinary divisions had not been independent, that the French Council of State wasn’t impartial and because he wasn’t given a fair trial.

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The court said in its ruling Thursday there’s “no evidence to suggest that there had been any lack of impartiality” since the “judgment had been duly reasoned.”

The court also said disciplinary proceedings were “fully autonomous.”

The act of mercy killings is illegal in France, although there have been recent attempts to decriminalize the practice.

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