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Ontario nurse charged with murder in eight nursing-home deaths

Elizabeth Tracey Mae Wettlaufer of Woodstock, Ont., faces eight counts of first-degree murder in killings that took place between 2007 and 2014


 

WOODSTOCK, Ont. — A nurse in southwestern Ontario killed eight nursing home residents in her care, police alleged Tuesday as they charged the woman with murder.

Investigators say 49-year-old Elizabeth Tracey Mae Wettlaufer of Woodstock, Ont., faces eight counts of first-degree murder in the killings, which they say took place between 2007 and 2014.

“The victims were administered a drug. We’re not in a position at this time to comment further on the specifics of the drug as it forms part of the evidence that is now before the courts,” said Det. Supt. Dave Truax of the Ontario Provincial Police.

He would only say that a number of drugs were stored and accessible in nursing homes.

The victims have been identified as 84-year-old James Silcox, 84-year-old Maurice Granat, 87-year-old Gladys Millard, 95-year-old Helen Matheson, 96-year-old Mary Zurawinski, 90-year-old Helen Young, 79-year-old Maureen Pickering and 75-year-old Arpad Horvath.

Police said seven of the victims lived at a Caressant Care facility in Woodstock, Ont., while Horvath resided at a Meadow Park facility in London, Ont.

Police said they believe Wettlaufer also worked at other long-term care facilities in the province but could not specify which ones, nor would they speak to a motive.

Records from the College of Nurses of Ontario show Wettlaufer was first registered as a nurse in August 1995 but resigned Sept. 30 of this year. She is no longer entitled to practise as a registered nurse.

A LinkedIn profile for someone of the same name showed an employment history that included working as a charge nurse at Caressant Care in Woodstock from 2007 to 2014, a job the page said involved assessing patients, administering medications and performing prescribed treatments.

It also listed less than a year of employment at Meadow Park in 2014.

The profile also showed a bachelor’s degree in counselling from the London Baptist Bible College.

Caressant Care Nursing and Retirement Homes, which operates 15 facilities primarily based in small towns, said a former employee who left the company 2 1/2 years ago was the focus of a police probe.

The company says it is co-operating with police and remains in contact with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care regarding the matter.

Caressant Care says its highest priority is to continue providing for the “physical, social and spiritual needs” of its residents as the investigation unfolds.

Police said Wettlaufer appeared in court Tuesday morning and remained in custody. The investigation is ongoing and they said more charges could be laid in the future.


 

Ontario nurse charged with murder in eight nursing-home deaths

  1. Self-appointed killer or honoring personal requests? The trial will hopefully sort this out and also open discussion about how to die.
    Meanwhile, the federal assisted suicide option must include the rapidly increasing number of people suffering from dementia, people who would choose this avenue before or in the early stages of the dread condition that is always terminal anyway.
    You ought to see what doctors do to dementia patients — load them with a cocktail of zombie drugs and pat themselves on the back because they have done exactly what the medical system demands, which is to turn dementia patients into the living dead; corpses that breath but little more. Damn the system which not only needs to be totally overhauled but forced into new non-drug research that might lead to a successful way to rewire the brain into a well thinking organ that, perhaps, is better than the average brain that has not been helped. But this won’t happen because the mental health profession, especially dealing with diseases like dementia which are hitting people at young and younger ages, places its self-interest ahead of those of the patients it is supposed to help. Furthermore:
    Pierre Trudeau’s Dementia Led Him To Turn Down Cancer Treatment
    The Huffington Post Canada
    Posted: 03/06/2013

    Pierre Trudeau chose not to be treated for metastasized prostate cancer after he was diagnosed with dementia, a new Huffington Post Canada ebook reveals. The cancer could have been treated, but the former prime minister wanted the disease to claim him before he lost his mind.
    The previously unknown information about Trudeau’s last months was published for the first time this week in Contender: The Justin Trudeau Story, a new ebook by HuffPost Canada’s Althia Raj (download it for free here.)
    According to the New York Times, Trudeau was suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, which often leads to dementia. He died on Sept. 28, 2000.
    After deciding to leave the cancer untreated, Pierre and his boys, Alexandre (Sacha) and Justin, planned the last six months of the former prime minister’s life, said Raj, who conducted extensive interviews for the book with Trudeau family and friends.
    In an interview with The Canadian Press, new Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he does not dispute the account,
    “The characterization in the book is certainly not something that I would say is false,” Trudeau said. “It’s not anything that my father said explicitly to me. He may have said it to some other people.”
    “But for me, it was fairly clear that he was very much at peace with the end of his life approaching and certainly wasn’t interested in losing his quality of life, physically and mentally, and prolonging the process
    “He remained extremely lucid right up until the very end.”

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