Canada: systematic failures let killer ex-nurse keep killing

July 31, 2019 GMT

WOODSTOCK, Ontario (AP) — A commission examining the case of a former nurse in Canada who killed eight nursing home residents says systemic failures in long-term care allowed Elizabeth Wettlaufer to carry out her crimes without raising suspicion.

Wettlaufer is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty in 2017 to killing the patients with insulin overdoses and attempting to kill four others.

In a report released Wednesday, the commission said the systematic failures stem in part from a lack of awareness about the risk of staff members deliberately harming patients.


The commission’s report laid out 91 recommendations aimed at preventing such crimes, including measures to raise awareness of serial killers in health care and to make it harder for staff members to divert medication.

It called on Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-term Care to give each facility a grant of $50,000 to $200,000 to improve oversight of the administration of drugs. It also said more deaths of patients in long-term care facilities should be investigated.

Wettlaufer was employed by Caressant Care Nursing and Retirement Homes, which operates 15 facilities in small Ontario towns.

Police said seven of the victims died at a Caressant nursing home in Woodstock, a community of 37,000 people. Wettlaufer was also employed at the Meadow Park facility in London, Ontario.