Mercy Killings Suspected by Japanese Police in Wave of Hospital Deaths
Forty eight patients died in the elderly hospital during a two-month stretch.
A dramatic spike in the number of deaths at a Japanese elderly hospital has police suspicious that someone is conducting mercy killings.
Almost 50 people died in the 85-bed Oguchi Hospital in Yokohama, Japan’s second-largest city, between July and September, according to The Star.
“We see many people die as we take in elderly patients, but we had the impression that the number of those dying was increasing a bit,” an unidentified hospital official says.
Although no arrests have been made, police suspect a hospital insider with medical knowledge is behind the deaths.
The police investigation officially began after two 88-year-old patients were poisoned in the same weekend by someone who injected chemical disinfectants into the patients’ intravenous pumps.
After those poisonings were discovered, police began an investigation into the 46 other deaths that have occurred inside the hospital since July. The high death figure became even more mysterious when it was revealed that nine patients died in just two days in August.
A subsequent inspection of unused drip bags found that ten of the 50 bags stored behind a nurse’s desk had puncture marks. Insidious intentions were further revealed when a nurse suffered blistered lips after drinking coffee that had been laced with bleach in August.
The investigation into what some are calling the “angel of death” killings has forced the hospital to stop taking in new patients and has many calling for increased hospital security.
“Security systems in hospitals and care facilities are often said to be based on a positive view of human nature,” an editorial said in the Japan Times Sept. 23. “But, in reality, many incidents have taken place where vulnerable patients have been exposed to harm and, in some cases, lost their lives in these supposedly safe places.”
Oguchi Hospital primarily cares for bedridden elderly patients that have trouble eating on their own.
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