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Blind Eye: The Terrifying Story Of A Doctor Who Got Away With Murder by James B. Stewart

Wall of Silence: The Untold Story of the Medical Mistakes That Kill and Injure Millions of Americans by Rosemary Gibson and Janardan P. Singh

Defending Donald Harvey: The Case of America's Most Notorious Angel-of-Death Serial Killer by William Whalen, attorney, and Bruce Martin

Perfect Poison: A Female Serial Killer's Deadly Medicine by William Phelps (about nurse/serial killer Kristen Gilbert)

Doc: The Rape of the Town of Lovell by Jack Olsen

The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder by Charles Graeber (about nurse/serial killer Charles Cullen and how people in medicine protected him).

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Blind Eye: The Terrifying Story Of A Doctor Who Got Away With Murder  by James B. Stewart.

When Swango was on trial for having poisoned patients, one witness who testified was Robert Haller II, the vice president of National Emergency Service in Toledo. He had hired Swango as an emergency room doctor while Swango was awaiting trial.

During the trial, an attorney questioning Haller said, "What I'm getting at is that you as an employer of doctors wouldn't be bothered by the fact that the doctor had been charged with six counts of poisoning?"

"We were concerned about it, sure."

"And even though he has been convicted, you would rehire him?"

"Yes," Haller said.

This is a book that makes clear how it is that Hodads and Serial Killers and other problems for patients are allowed to remain in medicine as long as patients don't find out about them.

 

 

 

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Wall of Silence: The Untold Story of the Medical Mistakes That Kill and Injure Millions of Americans  by Rosemary Gibson and Janardan P. Singh

Links are to Amazon.com

Wall of Silence says that adverse events in medicine are not rare and that the system responds to them by covering them up rather than working to prevent them from happening again. It constructs a wall of silence around the problems that patients would take pains to avoid if they could learn where they are happening.

Reviews at Amazon:
Former First Lady Rosalyn Carter said that this book is a call to arms.

A retired Registered Nurse, who was twice a victim of medical negligence, encourages everyone to read this book.

 

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Defending Donald Harvey: The Case of America's Most Notorious Angel-of-Death Serial Killer  by William Whalen, attorney, and Bruce Martin

Links to Amazon

When his co-workers reported his bizarre behavior, his employers ignored them. In trying to corroboration his confessions his lawyer found that the hospital records were terse, the hospital officials were uncooperative, and few autopsies had been done. Harvey was charming and, enjoying his notoriety, fabricated outrageous stories. Confronted with the impossibility of the tales he told, he came up with glib explanations.

His Lawyer: "What about deaths outside Drake?"

Harvey: "Including the VA?"

His lawyer was trying to get a life sentence for Harvey instead of death row. Harvey wanted to live even if it was life in prison. It's a story that is dramatic and bizarre and surprising and eye-opening.

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Perfect Poison: A Female Serial Killer's Deadly Medicine  by William Phelps

Links to Amazon

When a book is fun to read and, at the same time, shows us more about what goes on in medicine, it is worth passing around. This one is like reading a crime novel, but the details show our caregivers at work. Television shows can make "codes," emergency responses to patients in trouble, seem like well-rehearsed, effecient operations instead of the reality which is anxious, disorganized affairs with people tripping over each other and failing to understand each other's directions. Melissa Gilbert was the calm one in the storm. She took charge, kept a level head, gave accurate orders at the appropriate times and usually lead the team the entire way.

How do you recognize a sociopath? When physicians tell you to be confident because they have such a competent team, how much faith should you have in that? Gilbert's colleagues had faith in her.

Kristen Gilbert, in addition to being calm and collected under pressure, also was an encyclopedia when it came to drugs. Other nurses and doctors went to her for information about them. She knew all of the side effects and dosages and interactions. She was the logical one to put in charge of the drug cart. She is not the only example of caregivers who become experts in things they want to be put in charge of for reasons that are not good for patients.

In "Perfect Poison" she falsifies records and poisons people.

The VA has the largest health care system in the world, with 60,000 nurses, but it operates like the Catholic Church. When someone is a problem, it moves them to somewhere else.

All of this is information any patient can benefit from knowing. In books like this, and similar books discussed on this page, you get it from reading something that reads like a crime novel - something you might have read for fun anyway.

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Doc: The Rape of the Town of Lovell  by Jack Olsen

Links to Amazon

 

This is the story of Dr. John Story who molested and raped women and children for 25 years before some courageous women tried to stop him. It was in a small town in Wyoming where nearly everyone was Mormon. Young women there had been told nothing about sex. He had them face the other way and persuaded them he merely was examining them. It wasn't until their wedding nights that they realized it had been sex.

Half the town was ready to lock him up. The other half defended him, dividing the town. Doesn't this suggest that the fear that physicians have of getting bad reputations is paranoia? After 25 years of sexually abusing children he still had half the town as a client base.

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Doctors Killed George Washington  by Erin Barrett, Jack Mingo, and David Colbert

Links to Amazon

 

More entertaining than a peer reviewed publication would be, it is about much more than what doctors did to George Washington. For instance:

1) A human's blood pressure is about the same as a spider's.

2) Lowering cholesterol increases depression and suicide (as anyone who has given up chocolate and started eating tofu instead can testify).

3) Pigs carry the Yersinia bacteria which can cause either appendicitis or a harmless intestinal inflammation that resembles appendicitis. Doctors can tell which it is only by operating. So wash your hands after handling raw bacon.

It is an entertaining book of useful information.

 

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The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder, by Charles Graeber.

The New York Times says it reveals how the hospital's systemic and ethical failings protected him. ". . . the eagerness of ambitious hospital administrators to cover up his misdeeds . . . hospital efforts to know as little as possible about Mr. Cullen's activities. At the risk of their patients' lives, they did not want their institutional reputations damaged. . . the paucity of records about Mr. Cullen and the eagerness of hospital lawyers to deflect them [the investigators] . . . The investigators were lied to so egregiously that they were told by a hospital 'risk manager' that the Pyxis didn't keep long-term records, so there would be no point in checking on Mr. Cullen's history." But the Pyxis does keep long-term records. It was just more lying and covering up in order to protect themselves at the expense of the lives of patients.

 

 

Index of Patient Safety Books