Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Angel of Death and her Supervisor

Two nurses were indicted in April for causing the death of five patients at the McHenry County Nursing Home in 2006 in Woodstock Illinois.

From the article in the Chicago Tribune:
Marty Himebaugh, a Lake in the Hills resident and a licensed practical nurse, was charged with four counts of criminal neglect of a long-term care resident, one count of obtaining morphine by fraud, and one count of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance.

Penny Whitlock, a former director of nursing at the facility and a Woodstock city resident, was charged with five counts of criminal neglect of a long-term care resident and two counts of obstructing justice.

Both women have pleaded not guilty in McHenry County Circuit Court.
The Chicago Tribune article also stated:
A supervisor allegedly told a nurse, "I do not care if you play the angel of death, just don't let me know about it," the report says.

"She won't make it through the day," the report says the nurse told a co-worker, referring to a restless patient. "I made sure of that."

The Department of Public Health report also refers to a 56-year-old man with Down syndrome who died in April 2006 and quotes a nurse telling a co-worker: "Those people aren't meant to live that long. They are meant to die in their teens and I'm going to help him along."
Chicago Tribune article:

At the time that the indictments were announced, prosecutors said they did not believe there was enough evidence to prove that any of the patients were killed.

Dick Sobsey, director of the John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre, Dobsey stated in his blog:
In my opinion, if the statements made by these nurses can be verified, the nurse who is alleged to have killed these patients should be charged with attempted murder or murder or both. If it can be shown that the medication overdoses cuased the death, the charge should be murder. If, as is often the case for debilitated patients, the overdose cannot be shown to be the cause of death, the charge should be attempted murder.
Link to Dick Sobsey's blog comment:

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