German Prosecutors Allege Former Nurse Killed Patients Out Of Boredom

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

medical symbolA startling criminal case out of Germany could be reminiscent of Britain’s Harold Shipman case.

Prosecutors in the German State of Lower Saxony accuse a former nurse, identified only as Nils “H.” pursuant to German privacy laws, of killing one patient and the attempt of two others. He is also being investigated for possible involvement in over one hundred and fifty suspicious deaths occurring during his practice.

According to prosecutors his motive for committing such crimes was boredom.

H. who is in his late thirties, is accused of injecting patients, both ill and recovering, with Gilurytmal, a medication capable of producing fatal cardiovascular effects. The drug’s side effects are such that only doctors may administer it under strict supervision. Complications associated with the drug include an irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure and adverse effects to the heart muscle.

Prosecutors accuse H. of wanting to display, as H. referred to as, his excellent resuscitation skills in order to allay boredom with his job. And in an even more macabre accusation he is said to have made a second injection if the first resuscitation proved successful.

The state prosecutor and police are investigating the deaths of one hundred seventy four patients who died during H.’s shirts from 2003 to 2005 at a Delmenhorst clinic. The case is expected to be broadened to include his previous employers in Oldenburg and Wilhelmshaven where he worked as a paramedic. The investigation is expected to last until 2015 and will be limited to victims’ bodies having not been cremated and those without certain pre-existing conditions.

In 2008, H. was convicted and sentenced to seven and a half years imprisonment for the attempted murder of another patient. In this case an overdose of heart medication was administered. Fortunately the patient recovered.

During the time H. worked at Delmenhorst Clinic, the death rate doubled and the use of the heart medication increased dramatically. It took however nearly a decade before authorities launched an investigation.

A physician who provided evidence for the case in September stated H. was a “passionate medic” who had a positive reputation among the staff. He testified that he did note, however, that it was strange H. was always nearby when patients were being resuscitated.

Eric Joester, a lawyer for the clinic, stated in an interview with news agency DPA that “No one wants to believe that a colleague would rather kill patients instead of helping them.” He indicated the higher rate of death was attributed to a number of causes, including the addition of a new cancer department.

It is possible the clinic had its suspicions. According to DPA, H. was at first transferred but later asked to resign in exchange for a good reference. Gaby Lübben, a prosecution lawyer, is quoted as stating that the clinic “tried to get rid of the problem.”

By Darren Smith


Deutsche Welle

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25 thoughts on “German Prosecutors Allege Former Nurse Killed Patients Out Of Boredom”

  1. The name of the paper(s) was changed. Originally there were two papers, one in the morning and one in the evening, ah the good old days. The Victoria Daily Times and the Victoria Daily Colonist were amalgamated into the Victoria Times Colonist. It happened during a blizzard, when it was exceptionally cold.

  2. Paul.

    It was lessened to 1K. You need to acquire a keener eye. A grand for ignoring the law, he stated when first asked that he did not have a gun. Only when the trunk was to be opened did he point out that he had a gun. The judge cut him a big break there. Even in the US the dude should not be so negligent. Thousands of Americans are killed each year because of this very attitude, an attitude which in now way is supported by the second amendment. The right to bear arms does not include the right to be sloppy.

    In the history of this world of ours it is typically heat that slows the brain. Canadians are a sharp people. They vote more than Americans, know more than the average American, and aside from sharing most the faults Americans have such as greed, etc., they are second to none. There are ten times as many Americans so, I guess that helps, Americans.

    1. issac – I caught the final fine, but the prosecution was asking for $5k, which is what I thought was high. Having lived in Montana I am aware of what snow storms can do, even make bad changes in newspaper titles.

  3. Paul

    Keen eye but missed the mark. Colonist is the name of the newspaper. The Times Colonist, stemming from the inception of the newspaper when British Columbia was a colony. Spelling is slightly different in Canada, cheque instead of check, for the money order, a few more vowels from time to time. The point of the article was well made, regardless and in spite of being distracted by spelling. Don’t you agree?

    1. issac – under the circumstances, I thought the judge was fair. It is time to change the name of the paper though. 😉 Maybe it is the cold weather that slows the brain in Canada. $5k for accidentally bringing a gun into Canada is a little steep.

  4. I find it odd that it took them so long to trip on to this, even though they evidently were trying to get rid of him as he was being caught.

  5. issac – you did see the writer of the article was a ‘Colonist’ not Columnist. Not sure what difference that makes in Canada, but spelling should be pretty much the same there.

  6. Is it not also true that no physician, in so far as he is a physician, considers or enjoins what is for the physician’s interest, but that all seek the good of their patients? For we have agreed that a physician strictly so called, is a ruler of bodies, and not a maker of money, have we not?

  7. Very scary. Our society is built on trust. Well….trust but verifry 🙂

    You trust that the Doctor or Nurse is going to help you. Not kill you. You trust that the Police are there to protect you. Not victimize you. You trust the mechanic (well….mostly) and almost everyone else.

    We know that not everyone is trustworthy…..see raflaws post about the incredible banking fraud. But, even so, we still try to run our society with some elements of trust. Hope that more people are trustworthy than not.

    When you are afraid to even go to the doctor or are afraid that the nurse is going to kill you, society will crumble into chaos.

  8. @ChipS


    An Irish Poem by Squeeky Fromm

    There once was a very bored nurse,
    Whose hobby was strangely perverse.
    By constantly fussin’
    She derailed discussion,
    And her sock puppets, gee, they were worse!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  9. One of the effects of working in hospitals is that, unlike how it is portrayed on TV and in the movies, people tend to dial down sensitivity. You don’t last very long in an environment of pain and suffering if you are keenly aware of everything that goes on around. This makes it easy for nut cases to slip in under the wire.

    This does not, in any way, diminish the service almost all those in the medical, police, firefighter, and other professions deliver to us, those that have the time to be ‘keenly’ aware.

    On another note, from my home town, good news. The keen eye is alive and working.

    Victoria judge says he’s astonished by careless attitude in U.S. toward guns
    NOVEMBER 22, 2014 10:09 PM

    A Victoria provincial court judge has told an American lawyer in training he is astonished by the careless attitude he and many of his countrymen have toward firearms.

    Judge Wayne Smith made the remark at the sentencing hearing last week of Gabor Falvy, who pleaded guilty to smuggling a handgun into Canada after border officials in Sidney found a gun in his trunk last month.

    “You’ve got a firearm casually lying in the trunk of your vehicle,” Smith said. “That’s the difference between our perception of firearms and the American perception. It’s amazing.

    “It would seem to me that anyone who was transporting such an object would want to put it in a secure location as soon as possible.”

    Smith ordered Falvy to make a $1,000 donation to Our Place Society, which serves Greater Victoria’s most vulnerable citizens, by April 15. Falvy will be granted a conditional discharge after he completes a period of probation.

    The 43-year-old former deputy sheriff and U.S. army reserve officer, who earned three purple hearts in Iraq, was arrested Oct. 19 after arriving in Sidney on a Washington state ferry, prosecutor Jill Vivian told the court.

    Canadian border officers became suspicious when Falvy, who was driving a 2011 Corvette with California plates, told them he had recently moved to Bellingham. An officer asked him if he had any firearms. Falvy said no.

    Falvy was referred for a secondary search, Vivian said, and he and his girlfriend got out of the car. When the officer began opening the trunk, Falvy told him there was a gun inside.

    Falvy was in lawful possession of the gun, which was poorly maintained but usable. However, there was no ammunition in the car, said Vivian, who asked Smith to impose a $5,000 fine.

    Defence lawyer Bob Jones said Falvy could not afford $5,000.

    While waiting for admission to the California bar, Falvy is making $15 an hour working as a legal advocate for a domestic-violence program in Snohomish County, Jones said. After his arrest, he spent 32 hours in custody and paid $1,000 to get his car out of impound.

    “The problem is, when a U.S. citizen is entitled to carry a weapon and does so lawfully in the U.S. and decides to come up to Canada, things are overlooked,” Jones said. “But he did recall just before the car was searched that he had a weapon and he did tell the customs officer.”

    Falvy explained that when he moved from California to Bellingham in August, he put everything he owned in the car and just left the gun there.

    In the end, Smith accepted that Falvy had simply forgotten the firearm. “I have no hesitation in concluding that you have served your country well in many, many respects,” Smith said. “You are now performing a service with your legal education. That is impressive. … This aberrant behaviour is not likely to recur.”

  10. the clinic “tried to get rid of the problem.” …In other words, make the nurse quietly go away so that the story doesn’t hit the local newspapers and open the clinic up to the bigger headache of endless litigation and scrutiny for every patient who entered that clinic during the time the rogue nurse worked for them. I’m not saying the clinic did the right thing. Their only concern apparently was their bottom line and not patient safety. Corrupt nurses or corrupt doctors seem to be hard to catch early enough before they do a lot of damage. Best example I can find is in South Dakota with an Iranian physician who was allowed to practice in that state after no one complaints were filed in Nebraska.

  11. Physicians, and healthcare organizations in general, are often unaware how easily fooled they can be. They think that the nature of their work precludes mendacity.

    So, unlike banks and businesses, they do not build systems that assume fraud and cheating are likely to occur.
    Patients and colleagues lie to them and they are actually shocked.

    At a minimum, recent efforts to track care quality by routinely tracking (and publishing) death and infection rates will do much to mitigate evil scofflaws like this nurse, who have taken advantage of their colleague’s naïveté.

  12. Beware of bored nurses!! Like I said yesterday, I investigated 2 cases of firefighters being arsonists so as to be heroes. It’s the Munchausen by proxy pathology.

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