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

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

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

  1. Paul – but they didn’t contact the police to find out.

    They are now exhuming bodies to test for residue of the fatal medication. It would have been so much easier to test for if they had notified police as soon as they suspected.

    If they were worried about lawsuits before, NOW they are in exponentially in more trouble. Because they had suspicions and allowed him to continue working, and later leave, with their recommendation giving him access to other hospitals.

    Maybe people just doubted their own suspicions, thinking it just wasn’t possible.

    The article doesn’t mention how he was finally caught, and what he was doing between 2005, when he left the hospital, to his conviction in 2008.

  2. It is a particularly keen betrayal to the public when a trusted figure like a nurse, doctor, or police officer breaks the law, especially in such a macabre manner.

    I am particularly disturbed that the hospital forced him to resign, with a good recommendation, when they suspected him of murder. The moment they suspected, they should have contacted police. Of course, the investigation would have decimated their reputation, but we’re talking about a suspicion of murder here. Merely helping him along to another hunting ground would allow him to continue killing helpless hospital patients.

    I cannot think of a more helpless state for a person than lying in a hospital bed.

    I also think that he had a pathological desire to have ultimate control over people, life or death. And had no remorse over their deaths, because he did not change his actions after the first death. This is what psychopaths do when they’re “bored.”

    What a savage.

    1. Karen – I think the problem is the hospital, like the prosecution, is going to have a case of of circumstantial evidence. Better to move him on. Maybe he won’t be bored at the next hospital.

Comments are closed.