Hospital negligence, scapegoat for serial killer

Wednesday June 12, 2013

For years serial killers have captured the interest and the fear of many Americans. From brutal murders to insidious acts of torture and rape, serial killers may seem like they belong in horror movies and not in real life. Unfortunately some of these monsters lurk around the world. Many Connecticut residents remember Michael Bruce Ross, a sinister serial killer who brutally raped and murdered eight young girls throughout the New England area. In 1987 he was convicted of murder and sentenced to death but his legacy continues to haunt the imagination of many residents.

Ross fits the typical schema of most serial killers, white male with mental issues that kills his victims violently. Unlike Ross, some serial killers operate in very sneaky ways at some of the most trusted places. Hospitals are usually a place of healing but death does occur there. Whether it is from medical malpractice or a vicious disease, death is common at the hospital. When visiting the hospital, patients are under the impression that the medical staff is doing everything they can to make their condition better. But for patients under the care of Charles Cullen, death was almost inevitable.

Cullen was a nurse at nine different hospitals where he had worked for 16 years before he finally got caught by investigators for the murder of 40 patients. Cullen was believed to have killed hundreds more but only got charged with 40 deaths. He would inject lethal medications into patient’s IV bags killing them discretely. Most victims were on the verge of being discharged from the hospital or in the process of recovering. Worst of all, many of the hospitals knew about his operations but failed to do anything about.

The medical world has now emphasized ways of minimizing hospital negligence and promoting patient safety. While many patients are not killed on purpose by medical staff, many are killed from their errors. Connecticut residents who have lost a loved one from a medical malpractice disaster should understand their legal options for recovering damages from the negligent parties.

Source: CNN, “Bring medical misdeeds into the light,” Carl Elliot, May 30, 2013

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