Disciplinary panel revokes Elizabeth Wettlaufer's nursing licence — BBCI

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 27, 2017

A lawyer for the college, Mark Sandler said after Tuesday's misconduct hearing that the director of nursing at Caressant told college staff in an interview following her termination, that there were no underlying concerns about Wettlaufer.

Caressant Care officials dispute that account, saying they sent the college a 20-page report outlining their concerns about Wettlaufer.

The college revealed previously unknown details at the hearing about the action it took when it was notified by Caressant Care that she was sacked on March 31, 2014.

In a statement Wednesday, Sandler, said the regulatory body has documentation of its conversation with Caressant's director of nursing.

Sandler's statement also said Caressant's accounts of Wettlaufer's actions were inconsistent in 2014, when the former nurse was sacked, and in 2016, after she confessed. "Wettlaufer had no explanation as to why she had done these things".

"This is the most egregious and disgraceful conduct this panel has ever considered", said Grace Fox, the chair of the five-person panel that deemed Wettlaufer's conduct unprofessional, dishonourable and disgraceful.

In a statement, the nursing home clarified that it followed proper procedures after firing Wettlaufer on March 31, 2014, and that the College determined there was no reason to further probe the issue.

In her submission to the disciplinary panel on Tuesday, Megan Shortreed, the college counsel, said Ms. Wettlaufer was sacked from an unnamed hospital in late 1995 after she stole Lorazepam, a benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety. Wettlaufer murdered one victim and harmed two others after the firing.

The conditions remained in place for one year and on her public record for six, in keeping with the college's policy at the time.

When long-term care homes fire a nurse they are required to tell the regulatory body.

Questions about the college's role will be addressed in an upcoming public inquiry into the matter that has been called by the province, Sandler said. "The bottom line is that if the college could have done anything differently and that's so recommended by the commissioner, then the college will take that to heart".

In June, Wettlaufer admitted to using insulin to kill eight patients in two Ontario senior care homes.

Her murder victims were five women and three men and all were residents of Caressant Care in Woodstock and Meadow Park in London, Ontario.

She injected two more patients with potentially lethal doses of insulin, one at a nursing home in Paris, Ont., in 2015, the other at a private home in Ingersoll in 2016.

In Tuesday's hearing, the college also revealed it restricted Wettlaufer's nursing licence after a 1995 incident where she was caught stealing medication, which left her intoxicated at work. According to court documents, her dismissal was because she wasn't properly following protocols around insulin - something described as part of a "pattern of behaviours" putting the home's residents at risk. "You have an extensive disciplinary record for medication-related errors which include numerous warnings as well as 1-, 3- and two 5-day suspensions".

Lawyers for the College of Nurses of Ontario spoke to reporters after the disciplinary panel stripped Wettlaufer of her licence. "Ms. Wettlaufer's horrific actions should not tarnish the good name and good work of these dedicated professionals".

"The overwhelming majority of nursing professionals are dedicated and caring individuals".

The disciplinary panel is also expected to formally revoke Ms. Wettlaufer's certificate of registration as a nurse.

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