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AUSSIE DOCTOR CHARGED FOR INFECTING 50 WOMEN WITH HEPATIS C

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SYDNEY, Australia - An Australian doctor was charged yesterday with endangering his patients' lives after police alleged he infected 50 women with hepatitis C at an abortion clinic.
Dr James Latham Peters, 61, who worked as an anaesthesiologist at the Melbourne clinic, was charged with 54 counts each of conduct endangering life, negligently causing serious injury and recklessly causing serious injury. The most serious charge carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
  • Peters was released on A$250,000 (Dh980,757) bail when he appeared at Melbourne Magistrates Court.
  • He was not required to enter pleas which relate to 49 patients at the clinic who health officials say contracted the same strain of hepatitis C as Peters between 2008 and 2009.
  • Hepatitis C can cause serious liver problems, including cirrhosis and cancer. It is spread through the blood.
  • Police have not released details on how they believe the disease was transmitted. But Bram Alexander, spokesman for the Victoria state Department of Health, said officials investigated the clinic's infection control procedures and didn't find any problems.
  • "That's precisely why, back in early last year, we referred these matters to the police for further investigation, because our investigation could find no plausible reason as to why the infection took place," Alexander said.
Source: Agency
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