A 21-year-old French man has been given a six-month suspended prison sentence after posing as a doctor on an online platform, carrying out 132 consultations over a period of several weeks in 2020.
The man from Lyon, who has no medical training, gave out 37 prescriptions or medical work exemptions (arrêts de travail) before being caught. The prescriptions ranged from paracetamol to anti-anxiety medication.
He managed to set himself up as a doctor on the online consultation platform MaQuestionMedicale.fr after using two identification numbers attributed to real doctors that give medical professionals the right to work.
He was eventually caught after several of his patients complained about his “hesitant nature” and “amateurism”, flagging him to the platform MaQuestionMedicale.
He was then banned from the website and reported.
A Lyon court found him guilty on May 3 of the "illegal practice of medicine and endangerment of others”, banning him from practising medical or paramedical activities for three years, alongside the prison sentence.
The man has been described as “psychologically fragile” and “obsessed by medicine”, with his defence team and his parents saying that he wanted to help people and medical professionals during the Covid pandemic.
He will also have to pay €1,000 to MaQuestionMedicale.fr for damage to its reputation and image.