April 16, 2021

Acquitted doctor accused of the death of a girl after eating a popcorn

Acquitted doctor accused of the death of a girl after eating a popcorn


The Provincial Court of Oviedo has acquitted a doctor accused of the death of a 19-month-old girl after the ingestion of a grain of corn and who had been convicted of a crime of murder for serious professional imprudence.

The Second Section of the Hearing has estimated all the appeals lodged by the defense of the doctor who attended the girl in the Central University Hospital of Asturias (HUCA) and has revoked the sentence handed down in December 2017 by the Criminal Court number 1 of Oviedo, informs Efe.

The girl died on March 14, 2013 due to encephalic anoxia acute respiratory failure, due to the obstruction of the trachea by corn grain, five days after having ingested a popcorn.

In the sentence now revoked by the Hearing, the Criminal Court No. 1 of Oviedo had condemned to the doctor to one year of prison and to three of disqualification, as well as to the payment of an indemnification of 130,000 euros.

The Court considered that the doctor, who attended the child in the HUCA after being referred from the Hospital of Cangas del Narcea on suspicion of the presence of a foreign body that made breathing difficult, should have practice a bronchoscopy.

However, the hearing fails now that it is not proven that the defendant's action was contrary to the "lex artis", since all experts agreed in their respective opinions that "the outcome was not predictable and that there were no clear criteria to do a bronchoscopy. "

The court does not appreciate a criminal act of the doctor within the criminal responsibility, where the principle "in dubio pro reo" (in case of doubt, in favor of the accused), "without having been accredited that his prescriptions were not found within the range of what medical praxis required in the absence or insufficiency of symptoms ".

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