‘Angel of Death’ in Nursing Home Just Over the Border
Posted by PKSD Law Firm on Sep 25, 2008 in Nursing Homes and Elder Rights
A Chicago suburban newspaper ran a story on a series of mysterious deaths at a McHenry County nursing home that may not be mysterious at all. An Illinois state investigatory report claims that a nurse at Woodstock Residence in Woodstock, IL may have been overdosing patients that she deemed troublesome or believed had lived long enough.
According to the article, nurse Marty Himebaugh gave restless patients drug cocktails to keep them calm even saying that she would make sure that one patient wouldnt make it through the day. The facility's director reportedly went to Himebaugh and said, I do not care if you play the angel of death, just dont let me know about it.
Himebaugh referred to a 56-year-old patient with Down syndrome in the following manner, Those people arent meant to live that long. They are meant to die in their teens and Im going to help them along.
The article goes on to say that co-workers began voicing their concerns in April of 2006, six months before Himebaugh was removed from duty after a state police probe. The deaths occurred from April 2, 2006 to September 18, 2006.
The use of chemicals to restrain residents has been banned for many years. In fact, the use of restraints in a nursing home is monitored as a quality indicator. Quality indicators are monitored and reviewed by each nursing home. Nursing homes also have a duty to investigate concerns about staff and quality of care. The big question is why this wasn't discovered sooner. Did money play a role? That is, cheaper to keep the nurse?
*Attorney Pitman is licensed to practice law in the state of Illinois.