Doctor is struck off for hiding mercy death case

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A DOCTOR who once worked for West Suffolk Hospital has been struck off for failing to declare a ‘mercy killing’ conviction in Spain.

Dr Marcos Arel Hourmann was convicted of manslaughter in Spain after injecting a cancer-riddled patient to ‘rid her of the unbearable suffering’ in 2005, a General Medical Council (GMC) disciplinary hearing was told.

While under investigation, Dr Hourmann, 52, started with West Suffolk NHS Trust before moving to Carmarthenshire NHS Trust and then that county’s police as a forensic medical examiner.

But he failed to tell any of them about the continuing investigation in Spain or the court case. A GMC fitness to practise panel ruled his hiding the truth was ‘incompatible with his continuing to practise medicine’.

Dr Hourmann, who qualified as a doctor in Argentina and now lives in Spain, did not attend nor was he represented at the hearing in Manchester.

In a letter, he said he was unfamiliar with medical rules that state a doctor who has been cautioned, charged or convicted of a criminal offence, anywhere in the world, must declare it to the GMC. His explanation was not accepted by the panel.

The doctor also told the panel in writing that he was ‘afraid’ to lose his freedom and his job.

Finding him guilty of misconduct, the panel said: “Dr Hourmann’s correspondence contains a number of aggravating features. He fails to appreciate his wrongdoing and persists in justifying his actions, both with regard to his convictions and his dishonest conduct.

“At no point does Dr Hourmann express remorse for his actions or recognition that what he did was outside the parameters of acceptable practice and the law.”