18 March 2009
Dear Mr Brown, Mr Johnson and Mr Bradshaw,
RE: SOME HISTORICAL BACKGROUND REGARDING THE NEGLECT AND MURDER OF HOSPITAL PATIENTS
Some reading material as promised.
It takes you to the land of The Oldest Sage Witch’s granny.
The land of your birth, Mr Brown.
It concerns something that happened in the early 1970’s.
A young doctor, just out of medical school, reported to senior management in her hospital that patients in the ward she was working in were receiving very poor nursing care. She named the person she felt was responsible. Whether action was taken following her complaint is not known.
Soon afterwards, it was time for the junior doctor to move on, and she continued with her career without any personal repercussions as a result of raising this issue.
A few years later, from the same ward, a nurse called Jessie McTavish was convicted of murdering an 80 year-old patient by injecting her illegally using insulin. There was a suspicion that there may have been several other deaths in this way. She was sentenced to life imprisonment. However, some months later she was acquitted following a successful appeal.
In spite of being acquitted, it seems this case is still quoted when teaching nursing students and in 2008 a male nurse, Colin Morris, was found guilty of four murders using insulin. It is said that he was inspired by the McTavish case.
1. Was any action taken following this young doctor’s allegation of neglect? If not, would events have taken a different course if the matter had been dealt with?
2. Do very junior doctors, fresh from medical school, observe poor practices that their seniors either choose to ignore or simply do not notice?
3. Are systemic failures and neglect responsible for many more patient deaths than those caused at the hands of the rare medical and nursing murderers?
4. Is death by murder more painful and distressing for the deceased that death by systemic failure and neglect?
4. In alerting management to a perceived problem, did that young doctor risk putting her future career at risk?
No doubt you will know the answers to some of these questions.
Tomorrow, during The Witching Hour, I will supply you with some more reading material.
The Witch Doctor
a red apple ……………………