Exercice illégal de la médecine : piqûre de rappel

C’est l’histoire d’un individu qui se prévalait d’un doctorat en psychologie clinique de l’université de Rennes et de plusieurs diplômes d’acupuncture ou de médecine chinoise délivrés par des enseignement anglais et chinoise, mais (étrangement) n’était pas titulaire du diplôme de docteur en médecine. Il pratiquait, selon l’arrêt de la Chambre criminelle de la Cour de cassation ((Cass. Crim., 9 février 2010, n°09-80.681.)), l’acupuncture dans un centre pour l’association « les cinq éléments », qu’il animait. Aucun lien avec le chef d’oeuvre cinématographique de Luc Besson.

Une information judiciaire a été ouverte à son encontre, à l’issue de laquelle il a été renvoyé devant le tribunal correctionnel sous la prévention du délit d’exercice illégal de la médecine.

Qu’était-il reproché au brave Monsieur ?

Il lui était fait grief, alors qu’il n’était pas médecin, d’avoir procédé à la pose d’aiguilles intradermiques sur diverses parties du corps de plusieurs patients, atteints de tendinites, de dépression, de difficultés psychologiques, d’insomnies, etc. Il ne contestait pas ce fait, expliquant que cette pratique avait pour objet et pour effet d’apporter un soulagement aux troubles de ses patients.

Deux arguments étaient exposés pour sa défense. Le premier était tiré du principe d’interprétation stricte de la loi pénale (art. 111-4 du code pénal). Il soulevait à ce titre qu’« il en résulte d’aucune loi ni  d’aucun réglement que l’acupuncture constituerait un acte médical » et qu’en vertu des lois n°85-772 du 25 juillet 1985 et n°2004-806 du 9 août 2004 [relatives à l’exercice de la profession de psychologue et de psychothérapeute], il appartient au psychologue de définir et de mettre en oeuvre, en toute autonomie, els outils les plus adéquats au cas à traiter, le juge répressif n’ayant pas à s’ingérer dans une méthode thérapeutique mise en oeuvre par un psychologue.

Le second argument tient au fait que les juges du fond n’auraient pas caractérisé la volonté délibérée du prévenu d’enfreindre la loi, violant ainsi les dispositions de l’article 121-3 du code pénal.

La Cour de cassation balaie d’un revers de main l’argumentation :

« Attendu qu’en l’état de ses énonciations, procédant de ses constatations soueraines, d’où il résulte que le prévenu a pris part habituellement au traitement par l’acupuncture de maladies réelles ou supposées sans être titulaire d’un diplôme exigé pour l’exercice de la profession de médecin, et dès lors que la seule constatation de la violation, en connaissance de cause, d’une prescription légale ou réglementaire implique de la part de son auteur l’intention coupable exigée par l’article 121-3 du code pénal, la cour d’appel a justifié sa décision ;

Qu’en effet, la pratique habituelle de l’acupuncture, tant à raison du diagnostic qu’elle implique que des moyens qu’elle utilise et des réactions organiques qu’elle est susceptible d’entraîner, constitue un acte médical dont la pratique est réservée aux docteurs en médecine ; « 

En somme, rien de nouveau pour les spécialistes du droit médical si ce n’est une illustration supplémentaire et actuelle du délit d’exercice illégal de la médecine.

Ne prête pas le serment d’Hippocrate qui veut. A bon entendeur…

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