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Last Updated: Friday, 16 March 2007, 09:41 GMT
Euthanasia doctor avoids prison
Doctor Laurence Tramois (right) and nurse Chantal Chanel in court in Perigueux
The pair said they wanted to end the patient's suffering
A French doctor has been given a one-year suspended jail term for poisoning a terminally ill woman.

The trial in the southern French town of Perigueux made euthanasia an issue in the presidential election campaign.

The court found Dr Laurence Tramois, 35, guilty of poisoning 65-year-old Paulette Druais, who was suffering from pancreatic cancer.

Nurse Chantal Chanel, 40, who was on trial with her, was acquitted. The fatal injection was given in 2003.

The two women had faced possible jail sentences of 30 years for administering the dose of potassium chloride.

Dr Tramois said that she decided to resort to a lethal injection after Druais had told her that she did not want to die "in filth" the French news agency AFP reported.

Druais's family had backed her decision, but hospital managers had taken the pair to court.

The jury decided that Dr Tramois should not get a criminal record - meaning she can continue to practise medicine.

The injection was administered at a hospital in Saint-Astier, southwestern France.

More than 2,000 health professionals had signed a petition in support of the pair, calling for a change in the law to allow active euthanasia.

A French law adopted in 2005 allows families to request that life-support equipment for a terminally ill patient be switched off. But doctors are not allowed to take action to end a patient's life.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Doctor Laurence Tramois defends her actions



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21 Feb 07 |  Health

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