German doctor charged after woman declared dead awoke at funeral home

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Prosecutors in Germany have charged a doctor with negligent bodily harm for declaring a 92-year-old woman dead, only for her to awaken in a refrigerated room at a funeral home.

Essen prosecutor Birgit Juergens said the 53-year-old, whose name was not released in line with privacy regulations, could face anything from a fine to a prison sentence if convicted.

The doctor is alleged to have pronounced the seriously-ill woman dead in March after a caregiver found her without a pulse and not breathing at a retirement home.

That evening, a worker at the funeral home where she had been taken heard a scream from the refrigeration room and discovered the woman alive.

The woman died two days later in hospital from heart disease unrelated to the incident.

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