ONTARIO, CANADA — A public inquiry in Canada is investigating how “rogue nurse” Elizabeth Wettlaufer, who confessed to killing eight patients in her care, was allowed to operate unchecked for over two decades.
Employers began raising red flags about Wettlaufer during her very first job out of nursing school, according to the Toronto Star.
The public inquiry, which began on Tuesday, found that Wettlaufer got fired from the Geraldton District Hospital in 1995 after she was caught high on drugs that she admitted stealing.
Over the next 20 years, Wettlaufer was disciplined multiple times for medication errors. She allegedly got into arguments with coworkers and treated patients badly. But none of these findings resulted in her losing her license to practice.
Wettlaufer’s killing spree finally ended in September 2016 when she confessed to killing eight patients by injecting them with overdoses of insulin.
Wettlaufer has provided a detailed, handwritten confession, which was released as part of public inquiry into her crimes. In the confession, she lists the people she killed and hurt, their medical conditions, how she murdered them, and what she was feeling at the time. You can read Wettlaufer’s full confession here.
The inquiry has raised questions about the failings in Ontario’s long-term care system.
The son of Wettlaufer’s final victim Arpad Horvath said he wanted to see the people responsible for his father’s death “crucified in the public eye.”
“I want to see the health system revamped — nursing care, senior care,” Arpad Horvath, Jr., told reporters. “But mostly I want to see the people who are accountable be crucified in the public eye, online and everywhere.”
Wettlaufer, 50, was fired in March 2014 from the Caressant Care nursing home in Woodstock, Ontario. She killed seven victims there.
The home notified the College of Nurses of the firing. But the college failed to investigate Wettlaufer, so she was able to continue practicing nursing with no blemishes on her record.
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Main photo: Elizabeth Wettlaufer [ Toronto Star / YouTube (screenshot)]