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


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

    “Bethe would spend so much 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 suppose that was an applicable factor to be telling a affected person. It is not a nurse’s place.” 

    Counselling sufferers on loss of life ought to be left to households, not nurses, she testified. 

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

    A lawyer representing a number of of the households of Wettlaufer’s victims, Alex Van Kranlingen, mentioned the morbid moniker is simply one other signal that crimson flags had been missed over time on the Caressant Care nursing residence. 

    “I feel what is going on right here is that we’re beginning to add up all of the items. Any particular person piece alone might not set off something however, actually, the buildup of them would have proven that there’s a massive downside at this residence,” he mentioned. 

    There was no rapid indication from Routledge’s 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, therapy 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 advised 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 treatment rooms, however nurses like Wettlaufer had full entry. There was no system of oversight to ensure nurses gave the fitting dose to sufferers. 

    Routledge will proceed her testimony on the public inquiry as we speak.

    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 advised however did not appear involved, so the loss of life 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 therefore 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 huge doses of insulin.

    Colleagues to testify

    Wettlaufer confessed her killing spree to a social employee and psychiatrist and was charged. She pleaded responsible in court docket 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 home-care firm the place Wettlaufer labored after leaving Caressant Care. 

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