Two die and 10 hospitalised after therapy session

A DOCTOR leading a group therapy session gave participants drugs and other substances that killed two and hospitalised 10, Berlin police said yesterday. One person was left comatose and in a critical condition.

The doctor has admitted giving the participants various substances and drugs during the meeting, said Martin Steltner, a spokesman for the Berlin prosecutor’s office.

It was not clear whether illegal drugs were given and whether the substances were injected or taken orally.

A police statement said autopsies have been carried out but “the chemical-toxicological investigation will take a while”.

Police said the scene of the crime was a house and medical practice in the leafy Hermsdorf neighbourhood in the north of Berlin. The 50-year-old doctor who worked there was detained and a homicide division was investigating, police said.

Neighbour Thomas Riebel said that he had heard rumours that the doctor was involved in therapies with mushrooms that create mind-altering effects.

The doctor, his 41-year-old wife, who runs a practice for alternative medicine in the same building, and 12 persons attended the session on Saturday, according to a police statement.

“During the session, which lasted several hours, he supposedly gave the patients various kinds of substance and drugs which initially led to reactions like nausea and vomiting,” the statement said.

When the symptoms got worse, one of the participants called the emergency services, according to the statement. When police and ambulance cars arrived at the doctor’s practice, they discovered 12 people who appeared to have been severely poisoned, it said.

A 59-year-old man died at the scene and a 28-year-old man died that night in hospital, police said.

On the internet, the doctor identifies himself as a psychotherapist for individuals and groups. He specialises in “depth psychology, bodywork and art therapy, and spiritual crises”, according to the website.


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