German nurse may have killed more than 100 patients

Medical killing is a world-wide phenomenon.

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Niels Högel

Niels Högel

A Reuters news article is reporting that Niels Högel’s, the German nurse who was convicted of killing 2 patients between 2000 – 2005, is now suspected to have killed at least 102 people. According to the story:

He has confessed to some killings, but police said in August that he could not remember all the details of his actions, prompting them to exhume the remains of 134 people with links to Niels H. to identify further victims.

The investigation has now turned up evidence leading authorities to suspect Niels H. killed 38 people at a clinic in the northern German city of Oldenburg and 62 at one in nearby Delmenhorst, Oldenburg police and the city’s public prosecutor’s office said in a statement on Thursday.

That is in addition to two counts of murder for which an Oldenburg court sentenced him in 2015.

In August, German police indicated that Högel’s was responsible for at least 86 deaths. Reuters suggests that the death count may continue to rise.

If anyone thinks that Högel’s murders could have been prevented if assisted death was legal and regulated in Germany, think again.

None of the euthanasia laws have a mechanism to prevent this type of abuse of the law and all of the euthanasia laws require doctor who lethally inject a person to self-report the death.

A recent Netherlands study indicated that in 2015, 431 assisted deaths were done without explicit request. A Belgian study indicated that in 2013, at least 1,000 assisted deaths were done without explicit request.

Medical killing is a world-wide phenomenon.

Suspected medical abuse/murder cases are usually not reported since the medical system lacks effective oversight. When abuse is uncovered, the problem is rarely reported to the legal authorities based on fear of lawsuits as in the Elizabeth Wettlauffer case in Ontario.

In December 2016, in Italy, an emergency room anesthetist Leonardo Cazzaniga, 60, and nurse Laura Taroni, 40, were arrested for the deaths of at least five patients but prosecutors were examining the medical files of more than 50.

Charles Cullen, a nurse who was also a medical serial killer in the United States, known as the ‘Angel of Death,’ murdered at least 40 patients to become one of America’s worst serial killers spoke from prison to chillingly claim: ‘I thought I was helping.’

Dr. Michael Swango is believed to have killed 35 – 60 patients, and similar to Cullen, he was simply asked to resign, or moved to another medical center. Aino Nykopp-Koski is a nurse who was convicted of killing 5 patients in Finland. In March 2013 Dr. Virginia Soares de Souza was arrested in Brazil and is suspected of killing 300 patients.

Then there is Dr. Harold Shipman, who was convicted of killing 15 people in England but is suspected to have killed between 250 and 400 of his patients. William Melchert-Dinkel, the Minnesota nurse, was convicted of 2 counts of assisted suicide for counselling depressed people to commit suicide.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.