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TorpedoFish
Feb 19, 2006

Tingly.


Veni Vidi Ameche! posted:

The healthcare community matches or exceeds the law-enforcement community in their willingness to cover up misdeeds and kick the can down the road no matter how heinous the consequences. Every single one of the serial killer doctors and nurses you’ve read about had a 5 to 50 year history of patient outcomes that could literally only be explained by murder or gross incompetence. Every single one of them was suspected by coworkers, suspected by superiors, suspected by hospital administrators, and just shuffled down the line from job to job rather than being dealt with.

I guess there must be some who got busted right away, and that’s why they’re not famous, but I don’t really have faith in that.

There's a really good book called Blind Eye by James B Stewart about Swango and the catastrophic failures that allowed him to continue. Ohio State was particularly complicit; there were nurses who were like, "Hey, I saw him injecting a patient who then immediately coded, here is this syringe he left in the room," and the administration just kind of shrugged and said it wasn't worth the legal risk of firing him.

Oh also he graduated from med school in 1982 and finally plead guilty in 2000, so this is very much not ancient history.

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The Mighty Moltres
Dec 21, 2012

Come! We must fly!



TorpedoFish posted:

I don't recall seeing it in this thread, so let's have a chat about Dr Michael Swango.

The linked article, contemporaneous to most of his crimes, gives a good summary: he was an extremely bad doctor who never completed a residency and at one point served two years in prison for poisoning coworkers. He also liked to poison his patients, and likely killed dozens of people that way. He worked as a doctor in Ohio, South Dakota, and New York before people finally caught on.

What the article doesn't mention, because no one knew it yet, was that Swango wasn't done! Once he realized the feds were on to him, he fled the country and found work as a doctor in Zimbabwe, where he continued to poison patients (and his landlady). When he was fired there, he again fled the country, spent some time poisoning his way across Africa, and ultimately applied for a job in Saudi Arabia. Only then did the right people finally realize who he was, and lured him back to the US. They got him on charges of fraud, and used that time to build the murder case against him.

Finally, only when faced with the prospect of extradition to Zimbabwe, Swango plead guilty to three counts of murder. He's serving three consecutive life sentences with no possibility of parole, but it's still unknown exactly how many people he murdered: at least three, but many estimate as many as sixty. It turns out it's pretty easy for a doctor to kill you, and get away with it!

Many people never know what they want to do with their lives.
This guy did, and it was poisoning people.

madeintaipei
Jul 13, 2012




Thank you for this, it was a fun listen. To the point, no bullshit, like one person talking to another. Thank you, too, for being as kind to the man's situation as possible.

The Golden Gael
Nov 12, 2011



TorpedoFish posted:

I don't recall seeing it in this thread, so let's have a chat about Dr Michael Swango.

The linked article, contemporaneous to most of his crimes, gives a good summary: he was an extremely bad doctor who never completed a residency and at one point served two years in prison for poisoning coworkers. He also liked to poison his patients, and likely killed dozens of people that way. He worked as a doctor in Ohio, South Dakota, and New York before people finally caught on.

What the article doesn't mention, because no one knew it yet, was that Swango wasn't done! Once he realized the feds were on to him, he fled the country and found work as a doctor in Zimbabwe, where he continued to poison patients (and his landlady). When he was fired there, he again fled the country, spent some time poisoning his way across Africa, and ultimately applied for a job in Saudi Arabia. Only then did the right people finally realize who he was, and lured him back to the US. They got him on charges of fraud, and used that time to build the murder case against him.

Finally, only when faced with the prospect of extradition to Zimbabwe, Swango plead guilty to three counts of murder. He's serving three consecutive life sentences with no possibility of parole, but it's still unknown exactly how many people he murdered: at least three, but many estimate as many as sixty. It turns out it's pretty easy for a doctor to kill you, and get away with it!
This is an excellent summary and now I want to dig deeper. Thanks.

And thanks, madeintaipei! I did my best to humanize him, without condoning what he does. I really do hope he gets help.

The Mighty Moltres
Dec 21, 2012

Come! We must fly!



madeintaipei posted:

Thank you for this, it was a fun listen. To the point, no bullshit, like one person talking to another. Thank you, too, for being as kind to the man's situation as possible.

Yeah, Anomaly Documentaries is excellent. Anyone reading this thread right now who hasn't seen The Golden Gael's videos stop right now and watch them.

The Golden Gael
Nov 12, 2011



I feel very privileged to have such fine and wonderful fans of my work. Thank you again!

TorpedoFish
Feb 19, 2006

Tingly.


Work is slow, so let's talk about another bad doctor: Dr Harold Shipman.

Harold “Fred” Shipman was a general physician in England. He graduated from medical school in 1970, and by 1974 started working as a GP in private practice. In 75, his career hit a speedbump when he was convicted of forging prescriptions for Demerol, a synthetic opiate. He paid his fine, did a brief stint in addiction treatment, and returned to practice.

By many accounts, Dr Shipman was a perfectly competent physician with a pleasant bedside manner. His patients liked him and trusted him and he generally got on well with his colleagues, though he was prone to mood swings and eventually opened a solo practice. He would often make house calls to his elderly patients, both in response to acute needs and as routine wellness checks.

However.

In 1998, a local funeral home expressed concern to a local doctor, Linda Reynolds, about the number of deaths where the death certificate was signed by Shipman. There were simply too many of his patients dying, and a disproportionate number of them were elderly women. The police briefly investigated but found nothing to justify either charging the doctor or even further investigation. Coincidentally, after the investigation had been closed, another individual contacted the police about Shipman, but nothing was done.

It wasn’t until the 1998 death of Shipman’s patient Kathleen Grundy that anyone took meaningful action. Grundy’s daughter contested her mother’s will, which left nothing to her family but nearly £400,000 to Dr. Harold Shipman. The daughter went to the police, who again opened an investigation. Investigation showed that Grundy’s body contained traces of morphine, and Shipman’s records about it were created after her death. It also revealed Shipman owned a typewriter that matched the contested will.

Finally, the police arrested him. They conducted a detailed examination of the circumstances of 15 deaths, all women, who had died while under Shipman’s care between 1995 and 1998. All of them had been given lethal doses of opiates, and their medical records had been altered after their deaths to reflect a poorer health status.

Harold Shipman was convicted of 15 counts of murder and was given a life sentence. In 2004, he fatally hung himself in prison, having served four years of his term.

The government spent two years looking at every death Shipman had signed off on. The inquiry produced over 5,000 pages of reports and found that Harold Shipman had killed at least 215 people. Conservative estimates above that put the number at about 260, though some believe he killed even more than that. Had the police taken the initial investigation more seriously hundreds of lives could have been saved.

The creepiest thing to me is that Shipman denied all charges. He never admitted guilt, and he never let anything slip as to why he killed all those people. Other than his final victim he never financially benefited; it seems he simply enjoyed the act of killing.

Mystery Steve
Nov 9, 2006


Fun Shoe

I remember as his alleged death count rose they had difficult job finding a prison where guards and prisoners alike weren't related to his patients.

Wasabi the J
Jan 23, 2008


The Golden Gael posted:

I feel very privileged to have such fine and wonderful fans of my work. Thank you again!

You should be proud of your video essays on this kinda stuff.

I have friends that love watching your videos because they're not full of tired retreads.

HopperUK
Apr 29, 2007

Clear off, fatso, this is a respectable establishment




Fallen Rib

I work in a pharmacy and controlled classes of drugs are watched *very* intently now, and a lot of those regulations were brought in as a direct result of Shipman's crimes, or so I was taught. Certain classes of drugs have a running tally kept and must be counted in and out, with the patient, prescribing doctor, and responsible pharmacist recorded every single time.

goldenninjawarrior
Jul 21, 2017

Ninja is supreme and you have double-crossed it!
Why did you do that?


Grimey Drawer

When we were looking at crime statistics for class in my criminology degree someone pointed to a massive spike in the graph for the UK murder rate for one single year and asked what that was about and the lecturer was like oh right yeah that's just Harold Shipman don't worry about that.

Milo and POTUS
Sep 3, 2017

I will not shut up about the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I talk about them all the time and work them into every conversation I have. I built a shrine in my room for the yellow one who died because sadly no one noticed because she died around 9/11. Wanna see it?


TorpedoFish posted:

spent some time poisoning his way across Africa

Too long for a new title?

Rascar Capac
Aug 31, 2016

Surprisingly nice, for an evil Inca mummy.

I was at 6th form college with a girl whose GP was Harold Shipman. We worked out that she was safe through being young and poor.

I also never got to sleep with her despite really wanting to, but that’s not really relevant to the Shipman thing.

Milo and POTUS
Sep 3, 2017

I will not shut up about the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I talk about them all the time and work them into every conversation I have. I built a shrine in my room for the yellow one who died because sadly no one noticed because she died around 9/11. Wanna see it?


Wow talk about dodging two bullets

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The Mighty Moltres
Dec 21, 2012

Come! We must fly!



Rascar Capac posted:

I was at 6th form college with a girl whose GP was Harold Shipman. We worked out that she was safe through being young and poor.

I also never got to sleep with her despite really wanting to, but that’s not really relevant to the Shipman thing.

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