By S.Van McCrary, Health Law & Policy Institute
The trial of Dr. Wolfgang Schug, who was charged with second-degree murder after sending the parents of a sick child to a larger hospital, ended on February 20, 1998 after the judge dismissed the case. See the discussion of the case at Negligence or Homicide? California Physician on Trial in Infant's Death (posted 02/13/98).
After the prosecution had presented its entire case, Judge Robert Crone dismissed the charges on grounds that the evidence presented was insufficient to support a conviction. This was an appropriate end to a case that, based on the facts as reported, never should have been prosecuted in the criminal courts. It appears likely that Dr. Schug will face a civil suit in connection with the same incident, however, and the outcome of such a case may be substantially less certain.