The public prosecutor’s office in Bonn searched the practice rooms of child psychiatrist Michael Winterhof in Bonn on Thursday, as well as several child and youth care facilities that had cooperated with him. According to information from WDR and Suddeutscher Zeitung During the raid, about 100 policemen came to 15 facilities in North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Lower Saxony.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office confirmed upon request that the searches “were carried out as part of an investigation against a child psychiatrist from Bonn on suspicion of having suffered serious bodily harm through possible non-professional treatment”, “with the aim of securing patients’ files”. Those responsible for the inspected facilities acted cooperatively and “voluntarily released the relevant documents on the basis of the relevant decisions.” The overall material must now be evaluated.
Bonn child psychiatrist and bestselling author Michael Winterhoff is accused of treating many children and teens with highly sedative medications, many for years. He’s often prescribed pipamperone, an antipsychotic drug with serious side effects and long-term effects, and experts say it should only be used in emergency situations and for a limited period of time. The recipe was based on diagnoses that Winterhoff was self-invented and is not recognized in any official manual or book.
Winterhoff judges his work ‘compliant with the law’
According to the first reports from WDR and SZ on the case in August last year, more than a dozen people whom Winterhof had treated as children and adolescents filed complaints with the public prosecutor’s office in Bonn about bodily harm. Many say they still experience after-effects from the drug. In many cases, parents and guardians testify that Winterhoff did not inform them of the treatment and the risks associated with it.
Weinerhof denies the allegations. Regarding the searches, his lawyer, who represents him under the Press Act, notes that the presumption of innocence still applies to the Bonn doctor. Winterhoff supposes that his “treatments were legally compatible”.