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French doctor acquitted for helping 7 patients die

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 01:19 a.m. HST, Jun 25, 2014

PARIS (AP) >> A French doctor has been acquitted of poisoning charges after giving lethal injections to help seven terminally ill patients die.

A court in the southern city of Pau issued the verdict Wednesday in the case of Nicolas Bonnemaison, who had faced up to life in prison. 

His lawyer Benoit Ducos-Ader said the decision was "enormous" and expressed hope it would weigh on growing debate in France on legalizing euthanasia.

Several relatives of the patients Bonnemaison helped die testified on his behalf. 

The case had drawn nationwide attention and emotion amid mounting calls in France to legalize euthanasia. It is currently legal in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.

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