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Canada Elizabeth Wettlaufer was called ‘angel of death’ by co-worker, inquiry hears

18:36  13 june  2018
18:36  13 june  2018 Source:   thestar.com

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The opening day of the public inquiry into the actions of Elizabeth Wettlaufer , who admitted to killing nursing home patients over a period of years, heard from lawyers representing Ontario long-term care homes who said her co - workers were betrayed by the disgraced nurse.


A staff member at the Caressant Care nursing home once referred to her co-worker, Elizabeth Wettlaufer, as an “angel of death,” a public inquiry has heard.

The chilling term, which popularly refers to serial killers who are caregivers, was used while Wettlaufer was still employed at the Woodstock, Ont., nursing home where she killed seven people in her care and assaulted two others with overdoses of insulin.

Elizabeth Wettlaufer on her way to court in January 2017. She confessed to eight murders of nursing-home patients.© Dave Chidley Elizabeth Wettlaufer on her way to court in January 2017. She confessed to eight murders of nursing-home patients.

Registered nurse Karen Routledge, who worked at Caressant, recalled today a conversation where a co-worker used that term to describe Wettlaufer, who co-workers called Beth.

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the circumstances surrounding the deaths of Wettlaufer 's victims and gaps in legislative or policy frameworks that allowed her to continue working as a nurse.[13] The inquiry 's lead counsel stated that "anyone "Serial killer Elizabeth Wettlaufer faces College of Nurses disciplinary hearing July 25".

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“It was in conversation, that Beth spent extra time with palliative residents and she had been overheard saying to a palliative resident that it was OK to die,” Routledge said, adding that Wettlaufer was apparently suggesting that death was better than severe suffering.

Read more:The early red flags

Routledge said she had no recollection of anyone comparing the death registry at the nursing home with Wettlaufer’s night shifts. The public inquiry was not told the name of the Caressant staff member who described Wettlaufer as the angel of death in conversation with Routledge.

Wettlaufer pleaded guilty in June 2017 to killing eight patients and assaulting or trying to kill six others. She confessed to her crimes, unprompted, in September 2016.

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ST. THOMAS, ONT.—Employers began raising red flags about “rogue nurse” Elizabeth Wettlaufer as early as in her first job out of nursing school, a public inquiry into the deaths of eight elderly patients heard on opening day.

The public inquiry was called by the provincial government to determine the systemic failures that allowed Wettlaufer to keep killing and harming residents in her care without being stopped.

“I racked my brain thinking — ‘How could this happen? How could you not know? — and I haven’t come up with anything,” Routledge testified a day earlier, referring to how Wettlaufer could have got away with her crimes while at Caressant. “My heart goes out to the families and it’s something that’s going to stay with me forever.”

There was nothing in Wettlaufer’s demeanour that suggested she was a killer.

“For the most part she came in smiling and quite bubbly,” said Routledge, who worked at the home during the seven years Wettlaufer was employed there. “She portrayed herself as a very caring nurse for the residents. She would take on some very difficult (residents), even people who didn’t have family and bring them special treats from home. I had no idea.”

Serial killer Elizabeth Wettlaufer was on a ‘do not hire’ list. She got hired

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The probe examining the circumstances that led to Elizabeth Wettlaufer ’s actions began Tuesday in St. Thomas, Ont. Outside the inquiry , the son of a man killed by Wettlaufer said he wanted those who failed to prevent his father’s death held to account.

Routledge was also the union representative in the home for registered nurses. She sat in several of the meetings where Wettlaufer was disciplined for incompetence on the job. Wettlaufer’s employment record contained 44 instances when the registered nurse committed medication errors, or was disciplined or warned for incompetence. She was fired from the home in March 2014 for a medication error that put the life of a resident at risk.

“Beth in general at these meetings would be very contrite and apologetic — ‘I’m sorry, I don’t know how that happened,’ ” Routledge said, referring to the meetings when Wettlaufer was warned or disciplined. “She would be very remorseful, often tearful.”

Routledge was asked if Wettlaufer was being sincere.

“Well, she fooled me. There was no indication she wasn’t being genuine.”

Red flags about killer nurse Elizabeth Wettlaufer were ignored, inquiry documents show .
Red flags about killer nurse Elizabeth Wettlaufer were ignored, inquiry documents show In 1995, Wettlaufer was fired from the Geraldon, Ont., District Hospital, where she was a student nurse, after overdosing on narcotics she stole from the hospital during a shift.

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