x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

'Doctor Death' may have killed up to 300 in Brazil

Prosecutors said Dr Virginia Soares de Souza and her medical team administered muscle relaxing drugs to patients, then reduced their oxygen supply, causing them to die of asphyxiation.

BRASILIA // A Brazilian doctor who was charged with killing seven patients to free up beds at a hospital intensive care unit may have been responsible for as many as 300 deaths, according to a Health Ministry investigator.

Prosecutors said Dr Virginia Soares de Souza and her medical team administered muscle relaxing drugs to patients, then reduced their oxygen supply, causing them to die of asphyxiation.

Dr De Souza, a 56-year-old widow, was arrested last month and charged with seven counts of aggravated first degree murder. Three other doctors, three nurses and a physiotherapist who worked under Dr De Souza have also been charged with murder.

Prosecutors for the state of Parana said wiretaps of Dr De Souza's phone conversations revealed that her motive was to free up hospital beds for other patients.

"I want to clear the intensive care unit. It's making me itch," she said in one recording released to Brazilian media. "Unfortunately, our mission is to be go-betweens on the springboard to the next life," she added in the same phone call.