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Started by virgil5 on May 12, 2021 12:19:14 PM
"You're the monster no one sees coming."

Nurses aide gets 7 life terms for killing elderly vets at West Virginia VA


virgil5 - 12 May 2021 12:23:51 (#1 of 94)

Wow. Just wow. This story has so many bad angles. Murder. Meaninglessness. The incredible can of worms that is the VA.

virgil5 - 12 May 2021 13:30:48 (#2 of 94)

The VA is often compared here to the NHS for its “socialist” nature. Rationed care. Bureaucratic neglect.

Then there’s the issue of personal power and responsibility. She was all alone at night and “just wanted to let them pass gently”.

tasselhoff - 12 May 2021 13:33:17 (#3 of 94)

Indeed. I'd much rather be bankrupted by having an ambulance take me to a hospital that my insurer doesn't cover. It's the only way.

Moschops - 12 May 2021 13:34:02 (#4 of 94)

Is there no element of rationed care with private medical insurance then, do all plans cover all treatments?

Also, always worth noting that many people (including myself) have private medical cover as well as paying in to the NHS through taxation. It's not an either/or situation.

virgil5 - 12 May 2021 13:36:22 (#5 of 94)

it’s the only way

Heh. It’s not the *only* way :-)

virgil5 - 12 May 2021 13:43:08 (#6 of 94)

Supposedly “you get what you pay for” and can avoid “govt nanny death panels” with the “free market system”.

Tee hee

virgil5 - 12 May 2021 13:52:13 (#7 of 94)

Personally I have Medicare as primary with Federal Blue Cross Blue Shield as secondary. I’ve never paid a copay. But I’m an exception.

These vets did their duty.

This is what they get for it.

virgil5 - 12 May 2021 14:04:37 (#8 of 94)

Header should read “at least” 7 dead. Maybe up to 20 or more that couldn’t be proved.

RosyLovelady - 12 May 2021 14:04:46 (#9 of 94)

At one time, you could get killed by a nursing assistant in the UK, on the NHS, but only if you were a baby or small child. It couldn't happen again, of course. Lessons were learned, as they always are.

GyratingTrampoline - 12 May 2021 14:04:51 (#10 of 94)

There have been a number of cases elsewhere in which nurses are accused of secretly murdering patients and then subsequently turn out to be innocent

mingmong - 12 May 2021 14:10:57 (#11 of 94)

The motives of this homicidal nursing assistant are pretty opaque, I don't see that psychopaths like this are necessarily any less likely to appear in a fully privatised system. In any case, cases like this are vanishingly rare, and hardly the main cause of death for most people visting hospitals in VA or anywhere else.

But that is not to say there aren't frustrations and annoyances that are particular to the NHS and perhaps all nationalised systems. One feature of the NHS is the idea that because the thing is being given freely, the patient's time is seen as a limitless resource, which they should be prepared to give away in almost limitless amounts. This can combine in unfortunate ways with a rather aggressive nanny-state attitude when you try and push back

For instance, the Minglet was in hospital a few years ago, having endured a rather scarey epileptic seizure. It now seems this is a condition he has inherited from his mum, but at the time we didn't know this and it was necessary to test him for meningitis and a bunch of other things. Anyway, after several days in the hospital all these tests had been completed, and we more or less had the all clear. The Minglet was bouncing off the walls with boredom, and I had a number of things I needed to deal with (fairly urgently) at home, and was also keen to avoid the hellish Bristol rush-hour traffic. So we asked if we discharge ourselves and they said no, not until you've seen the neurologist. And when will that be? Oh, when she's finished her shift, in about six hours time. So I drove back home, did my jobs, and came back for when they said the neuriologist would come to discharge us. The Minglet is virtually drilling a hole in the wall with his head at this point. And then they said, sorry, its going to be another 3 hours. I asked, why can't we just talk to the neurologist by phone? Does she need to do more tests? No more tests, but you still need to see her in person? Why? Just because, pretty much.

By then we'd had enough, and we discharged ourselves. This caused me and Mrs Ming to be regarded as only slightly less bad than Fred and Rose West, and there was talk of calling the social workers etc. We eventually got our (phone) consultation with the neurologist, who told us nothing we didn't know already (I have been dealing with wife's epilepsy for more than 20 years)

So while I appreciate our free healthcare and the great NHS, there is a downside (as there is with everything). I found that threat of social-workers particularly alarming and unnecessary.

tasselhoff - 12 May 2021 14:16:11 (#12 of 94)

Sounds like pass-ag arse-covering.

bossab2 - 12 May 2021 14:16:38 (#13 of 94)

The NHS managed to extend my hospitalisation from 2 to 4 weeks because they wouldn't let me go.

By week 4 I'd left the grounds and was doing walks around the local housing estate to kill time.

mingmong - 12 May 2021 14:33:39 (#14 of 94)

#12 precisely that Tass. Its something you come across quite often from the NHS if you have anyone in your family with a long-term health condition

Moschops - 12 May 2021 14:35:44 (#15 of 94)

A friend of mine is German, and her (British) husband had a liver transplant on the NHS. She reckons the NHS are amazing at the genuine emergency stuff, but not so good at the levels below this.

virgil5 - 12 May 2021 14:38:20 (#16 of 94)


I know what you mean. Doctors can be so conservative it drives me up the wall.

Example: I have lymphadema (sp?) which causes my legs injured in a car accident to swell with accompanying cellulitis

My primary doc didn’t even mention the cellulitis. They noticed it right away at the ER

At least at the ER you get to find out if whatever the fuck it is you’ve got is life threatening or not.

Pinkgum - 12 May 2021 16:02:27 (#17 of 94)


As a society we have it all wrong when the response to social workers is alarming and unnecessary.

Unnecessary in your case but necessary to safe guard more vulnerable children. These things have to be done in every single case to offer protection to those in need.

As a society we should welcome social workers checking on any children and following up on referrals. Families shouldn't feel shame or anger at their involvement it isn't a sign of bad parenting, more a sign of a functioning system.

Pinkgum - 12 May 2021 16:06:20 (#18 of 94)

Not a a pop at you personally Ming, more a musing on society as a whole.

virgil5 - 12 May 2021 16:09:21 (#19 of 94)

I'm not happy with both systems.

We're lucky in the "1st world" to be able to complain about this at all.

Obviously most social workers involved are doing a heroic job, especially noticeable in this time of pandemic.

But we could do much better.

Billions spent to go to Mars and the Moon, and begrudging political bickering over decent healthcare for all, which we could easily afford.

GyratingTrampoline - 12 May 2021 16:15:31 (#20 of 94)

My friend's son once burned his leg very badly on a camping stove and it turned out that the NHS had been counting trips to A&E, and because this was the 3rd A&E visit from someone in his family related to a burn, they sent someone round to do a home visit and check everything seemed ok. My friend was left feeling somewhat criticised and threatened by the state intervention, but my other friend, who is portuguese, said "you're lucky, in Portugal they would wait until someone died before showing any interest"

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