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Frenchman on trial over ailing patients' deaths

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Photo - Former Bayonne's hospital doctor Nicolas Bonnemaison arrives at the courthouse of Pau, southwestern France, for the first day of his trial, Wednesday, June 11, 2014. Bonnemaison is accused having poisoned 7 terminally ill patients in 2010 and 2011. The trial comes amid debate in France over whether to legalize euthanasia or other means of ending medical care for terminally ill patients. (AP Photo/Bob Edme)
Former Bayonne's hospital doctor Nicolas Bonnemaison arrives at the courthouse of Pau, southwestern France, for the first day of his trial, Wednesday, June 11, 2014. Bonnemaison is accused having poisoned 7 terminally ill patients in 2010 and 2011. The trial comes amid debate in France over whether to legalize euthanasia or other means of ending medical care for terminally ill patients. (AP Photo/Bob Edme)
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PAU, France (AP) — A French doctor is on trial on poisoning charges, accused of administering lethal injections to help seven terminally ill patients die.

The trial in the southwestern city of Pau comes amid debate in France over whether to legalize euthanasia or loosen laws on treatment for people with incurable maladies.

Doctor Nicolas Bonnemaison faces up to life in prison if convicted in the trial that opened Wednesday, according to his lawyer.

The widow of one the patients said she had asked Bonnemaison to help her husband die, and that what the doctor did was "good." Patricia Dhooge, her voice shaking with emotion, said in remarks carried on French television Wednesday that "it would hurt me very much if they gave him any kind of punishment."

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