9 Mar, 2023 @ 10:30
1 min read

Anaesthetist from Spain’s Valencia gets parole after 1,933 year jail sentence for infecting 275 patients with hepatitis C

Anaesthetist From Spain's Valencia Gets Parole After 1,933 Jail Term For Infecting 275 Patients With Hepatitis C

A Valencia anaesthetist has been paroled after receiving a 1,933 year prison sentence for spreading hepatitis C to 275 patients in regional hospitals between 1988 and 1998.

Juan Maeso, 81, spent nearly 16 years behind bars and could have stayed locked up for an extra four years- the maximum term in his circumstances under Spanish law.

He was addicted to morphine and injected himself with it before using the same syringe to sedate patients at four Valencia hospitals over an 11-year period.

Maeso was granted the conditional release by the Valencia Provincial Court after being in a low category jail since July, which allowed him to return to his home at night.

The anaesthetist- in a trial that last just over a year, was convicted in May 2007 for spreading the infections, and a month later entered Aranjuez jail, despite the fact an appeal had been launched.

He was classified as a flight risk, and in the 2009, the Supreme Court upheld the sentence.

The day before entering prison Maeso told Telecinco that he was innocent and that the whole legal process had been ‘a set-up’.

He also alleged that his genotype had been manipulated in tests , since not all those affected were infected with the same genotype.

The first infection attributed to Maeso was on December 15, 1988, to a five-year-old girl, and the last on January 27, 1998, to a 51-year-old patient who had suffered a broken hip and who was operated on at the private La Salud hospital in Valencia.

On February 4, 1998, La Salud banned him from entering the building after Maeso tested positive for hepatitis C, and later in the month he stopped working at Valencia’s La Fe Hospital where he was Head of the Anaesthesia and Resuscitation Service for pregnant women.

His prison sentence was seven years for each infected patient plus for crimes of reckless homicide that attracted two years each.

A Valencia court imposed civil compensation awards ranging from €49,065 for the widow and children of an affected person; €150,000 to the heirs of each of four people that died and various amounts ranging between €60,000 and €120,000 for certain groups of victims.

The court also sentenced him to compensate those affected with a sum of around €1 million and ruled that the Ministry of Health be liable for all compensation.

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