A 92-year-old woman, declared dead by a German doctor, was discovered very much alive in a Berlin funeral home. Although her name was not disclosed, authorities confirmed that the elderly woman woke up screaming in a refrigeration room.
As reported by ITV, the woman was pronounced dead at a retirement home, as the doctor did not detect any breathing or pulse. She was then transported to a mortuary for funeral preparations.
Later that same evening, a funeral home employee heard screaming from within the refrigeration room. The employee was stunned to discover that the 92-year-old woman, who was officially declared dead, was actually alive.
Essen prosecutor Birgit Juegens confirmed that the elderly woman was transported to a local hospital, where she was again pronounced dead — two days later.
Although the doctor is facing disciplinary action and a criminal charge, Juegens confirmed that the woman’s actual death was related to heart disease — and was not influenced by the macabre mistake.
Doctor in Germany charged for declaring 92-year-old woman dead, only for her to wake up in funeral home: http://t.co/eCM96zFnlr
— The Associated Press (@AP) July 28, 2015
The doctor, who was identified only as being 54 years old, was formally charged with negligent body harm by the Essen Prosecutor’s Office. If convicted, the doctor could face a prison sentence.
In July 2011, in an unrelated case, a 92-year-old woman was declared dead by the United States Department of Treasury. As a result, her checking and money market accounts were completely drained.
As reported by Peninsula Daily News, Betty Longshore lost nearly $17,000 — which was her life’s savings.
According to a representative with the Port Angeles, Washington, First Federal Bank, the withdrawal was required by federal law — as the funds were received from the federal government.
Longshore said she had no hard feelings, as the bank employees were very helpful in resolving the mistake.
“I want to emphasize that the bank did the best they could… I talked to them and told them I was sitting there and I was alive… They talked to me and asked me a lot of questions and satisfied themselves… They said that in 33 years, they had never seen anything like this happen.”
The elderly woman confirmed that the funds were eventually returned to her account. However, the incident was very troubling. Longshore said she is unsure why she was declared dead, but she suspects someone simply “clicked the wrong button.”
The 92-year-old woman declared dead in Germany is now resting in peace. However, the doctor who mistakenly pronounced her dead is facing a serious criminal charge. As the case is still pending, officials have not released his name, or the name of the victim.
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