Wettlaufer called ‘angel of death’ by colleague, public inquiry hears


Elizabeth Wettlaufer was known as an “angel of demise’ whereas she labored at a Woodstock, Ont., nursing residence, a former colleague instructed a public inquiry on Wednesday. 

“Bethe would spend rather a lot of time with palliative sufferers, and somebody overheard her telling a affected person, ‘It is OK to die,'” nurse Karen Routledge mentioned. 

“I did not assume that was an applicable factor to be telling a affected person. It is not a nurse’s place.” 

Though Routledge mentioned she by no means called Wettlaufer an “angel of demise,” she knew of one other nurse or private assist employee on the Caressant Care nursing residence doing so.

Routledge instructed the public inquiry she thought a nurse ought to take care of residents, not counsel them on demise. That needs to be left to households, Routledge testified. There was no rapid indication from her testimony that anybody knew Wettlaufer was poisoning individuals.

Wettlaufer killed seven individuals whereas working at Caressant Take care of seven years. Her crimes went undetected.

Routledge is a registered nurse who labored with Wettlaufer and acted as her union consultant throughout frequent conferences about Wettlaufer’s absenteeism, tardiness, remedy of employees and sufferers, and drugs errors. 

There wasn’t a lot to cease nurses from tampering with insulin doses on the Caressant Care residence in Woodstock, Routledge instructed the public inquiry Tuesday. 

“At Caressant Care, there was no double-check on insulin,” mentioned Routledge. “Bodily, geographically, there was one nurse on second ground for 32 residents, you did not have that availability of one other registered employees.”

The insulin was saved inside locked medicine rooms, however nurses like Wettlaufer had full entry. There was no system of oversight to ensure nurses gave the best dose to sufferers. 

Routledge will proceed her testimony on the public inquiry at the moment.

Coroner did not examine deaths

Routledge additionally testified Tuesday that the coroner did not do an post-mortem on one of Wettlaufer’s victims, Maureen Pickering, 79, regardless that her signs had been sudden. 

The coroner was instructed however did not appear involved, so the demise was not listed as “sudden or surprising.” 

The Lengthy-Time period Care Properties Public Inquiry, established on Aug. 1, 2017, after Wettlaufer was sentenced to eight concurrent life phrases, is headed by Justice Eileen Gillese. It started hearings in St. Thomas on June 5 into how Wettlaufer’s crimes went undetected for thus lengthy. 

Wettlaufer’s killing spree started in 2007 and continued till 2016, when she lastly confessed to a psychiatrist and a social employee. Till then, her employers, police and Ontario’s licensing physique for nurses had no thought eight sufferers had been murdered and 6 extra poisoned — all with injections of large doses of insulin.

Colleagues to testify

Wettlaufer confessed her killing spree to a social employee and psychiatrist and was charged. She pleaded responsible in courtroom to the murders and tried murders and was sentenced June 26, 2017 to life in jail with no probability of parole for 25 years.

The inquiry will hear from one other colleague of Wettlaufer’s and from the president of a house care firm the place Wettlaufer labored after leaving Caressant Care. 

There are 17 teams or organizations with standing on the inquiry, together with the career’s union, the Ontario Nurses Affiliation, and the School of Nurses of Ontario, the career’s regulatory physique.

Elizabeth Wettlaufer pleaded responsible to eight counts of first-degree homicide for killing nursing residence sufferers. (Dave Chidley/Canadian Press)




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