Ten years imprisonment for fatal treatment with ibogaine

“Only a prolonged unconditional imprisonment can put an end to the practices of this suspect”, the public prosecutor said in the Utrecht Court today. This suspect is a 59 year old woman from the village Kockengen (The Netherlands). In 2014 she was found guilty after treating a person with ibogaine resulting in his death. Today’s case is similar only this time it was a 48 year old woman from Sweden who lost her life after being treated with the hallucinatory substance. The public prosecutor demanded that the woman should go to prison for an period of ten years.

The victim arranged to travel to The Netherlands in January 2017 to be treated for her addiction. It was agreed that she would stay at the suspect’s home at Kockengen for five days, till February 6th. On the third of February the treatment turned out to be fatal. Cause of death: intoxication with ibogaine. The charge: culpable homicide. The suspect had no wish to kill the woman, but she has taken the chance into the bargain that the woman was to die due to the ibogaine treatment.

The suspect is also accused of bringing her client in a helpless situation because she did not point out the risks of the treatment in advance, and she did not look into the state of health of the patient. She asked her client to have a medical examination under false pretenses and since the client did not fill in the questions truthfully, the outcome of the examination had no value. The suspect, however, was well aware that the woman used an antidepressant and methadone, which cannot be safely used in combination with ibogaine, but did not check this. Nor did she give her patient the chance to detox.

During the treatment the suspect did not look after the woman properly. Experts have pointed out that the first 48 hours of a treatment with ibogaine should take place in a clinical setting with continuous cardiac monitoring, which she cannot offer at her home in Kockengen. When the treatment went wrong the suspect did contact emergency services but provided them with incorrect information. She told them that the woman was just a guest and suffered an asthma attack. Before the emergency services arrived, the suspect fled.

Moreover the suspect is accused of selling or providing substances that can damage health. She did so to six persons, one of them the deceased woman. The suspect has held back that the substance may have harmful effects on life or health. Since the Swedish woman deceased, the maximum penalty for this offence is life sentence. The suspect, however, was as no other aware of the harmful effects of ibogaine. During the previous case in 2014 experts have explained that the treatment may result in a lower heart rate and in the worst case sudden cardiac death. The case in 2014 concerned five persons of whom three had died and one still is bound to bed and wheelchair. Finally she is accused of having treated people without the required registration as a medical professional. She was not qualified to give the treatment in a medically adequate way and has caused serious health damage resulting in the death of the woman.

The public prosecutor emphasized that the suspect, who is a ibogaine fairy in her own eyes, continued offering and delivering treatments after being convicted without paying attention to the safety of her clients. Her confidence in ibogaine and her healing method is undiminished. Therefore, the risk of recidivism is estimated as high.

“It is now up to you, members of the Court, to finally put an end to these practices”, the public prosecutor stated. “The suspect has ignored all alarm signals and warnings and for years risked the lives of her clients, until another life was lost. In view of the irreparable consequences and the high risk of recidivism, the public prosecutor asked the Court to send the suspect to prison for a period of ten years.