By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
It is shocking that the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association found Carolyn Strom, a registered nurse, guilty of professional misconduct after she complained on her Facebook page about the care her grandfather received in palliative care.
This is even more shocking in light of charges of ongoing abuse in Canada. On October 25 I wrote about Elizabeth Wetlauffer, who is the nurse that was charged with 8 counts of murder at care homes in Woodstock and London Ontario. Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) reacted to this news by demanding an in-depth investigation be done into murders at care homes in Ontario.
The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has announced that they are expanding their investigation to include two more suspicious deaths that may be connected to Wetlauffer.
Wetlauffer’s alleged acts of murder were not uncovered by an investigation or by “quality control” but rather by comments Wetlauffer made to a psychiatrist.
Recently the London Free Press reported that Susan Muzylowsky, a nurse who worked at the Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care in London Ontario confessed to charges of professional misconduct relating to 19 patients. According to the London Free Press:
Prescribed pain medications were routinely withheld, residents were handled roughly, verbally demeaned and sexually mocked, and some were sexually abused on more than one occasion, according to the investigation report released Wednesday.
In this case, incidents of abuse were reported to the registered nurse in charge of the shift but supervisors failed to follow policy and report the incidents to the leadership at Mount Hope or the Ministry of Health. The Free Press stated that the Ministry of Health reported that:
During their investigation, inspectors interviewed a personal care provider who had reported incidents involving Muzylowsky to registered nurses in the hopes “something would happen.”
“What was happening was what I was afraid of, I was telling and nothing was happening.” The worker said she was “afraid to go to management and nothing would be done, I still had to report to her,” the inspection report said.
One of the registered nurses who received the allegations of abuse and neglect of residents stated “[W]e kept quiet about it and we should not have.”
In other words the incidents were reported, but not reported to authorities and Muzylowsky continued to abuse.
Instead of disciplining Strom, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health needs to examine whether or not Strom’s complaint was valid.
Now that euthanasia is legal in Canada, do these stories make you feel protected?
Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.