Healthcare worker who killed more than 30 hospital patients during 1980s dies at 64

Donald Harvey, a healthcare worker who was convicted of murdering more than 30 hospital patients during the 1970s and 1980s died Thursday after an incident in his Ohio prison cell, according to The New York Times.

Here are six things to know about Mr. Harvey.

1. Lieutenant Robert Sellers, a spokesperson for the Ohio State Highway Patrol, confirmed Mr. Harvey was assaulted Tuesday by another inmate at the Toledo Correctional Institution. He said police have opened an investigation into the incident.

2. In 1987, Mr. Harvey plead guilty to killing 21 patients at Cincinnati-based Daniel Drake Memorial Hospital, now the Daniel Drake Center for Post-Acute Care, during the 1980s. He also plead guilty to killing 13 patients at London, Ky.-based Marymount Hospital in 1970 and 1971, according to the report.

3. Mr. Harvey was serving consecutive life sentences at the time of his death.

4. In a 1987 interview with reporters, Mr. Harvey said he "felt what [he] was doing was right" and that he "was putting people out of their misery," according to the NYT report.

5. He allegedly poisoned most of his victims with substances such as cyanide, rat poison, petroleum distillate or arsenic. He reportedly mixed the substances into beverage or foods such as freshly baked pies. He allegedly suffocated others in their hospital beds, according to the report.

6. During a 2003 interview with CBS News, Mr. Harvey said he was able to kill so many patients because "most of the doctors would be so overworked." Police learned of his actions "almost by accident" when a physician discovered traces of cyanide in the stomach of a recently deceased patient during an autopsy, according to the report.

More articles on hospital-physician relationships:
Viewpoint: Physicians recovering from mental health issues forced to wear 'scarlet letter'
Viewpoint: Physician burnout represents a 'national threat' lost in ACA repeal debate
Mayo Clinic, AMA work together to create 'medical school of the future'

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2017. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.


Top 40 Articles from the Past 6 Months