Angels of Death – Emily Webb

Angels of Death: Disturbing real-life cases of nurses and doctors who kill. Yes, this is exactly what it says and it’s what the doctor ordered…now, after that corny line I’m continuing with some real phrases.

Sent to me by the author and I’m very grateful as I’ve only recently gotten into true crime. It’s good to find a new genre and even better to find a well written book in that genre. I do have issues with how she presents her numbers on the page, I’d be using commas but that’s just me.

Angels of Death by Emily Webb
Angels of Death by Emily Webb

This book covers more than 20 medical staff who, while still looking after people, have decided some people must die and take it into their own hands to make the final step. In the covers of this book you will find such people as Howard Shipman who was convicted of killing 15 of his patients but may have murdered as many as 165 people. Or you’ll find Michael Swango, convicted of four murders but may have committed as many as 60.

I did notice a pattern with these people. They seem to have some sort of personality or behavioural problem before they went into medical or nursing school and this doesn’t seem to have sorted itself out. In at least two cases the protocols surrounding issuing medicines or death certificates have been changed due to these people.

But what makes a person decide to kill another? I’m going to leave that question here as I don’t really know the answer, the book does give some answers for particular people but there doesn’t seem to be anything overall that makes people want to do this.

Webb doesn’t deal with those like Philip Nitschke who deal with euthanasia, although it is mentioned. Nitschke helps people who have some terminal illness to have an easy death under their own terms, I’m thinking Terry Pratchett would fall into this category with his Alzheimer’s and belief in voluntary euthanasia. In this book you have people who have decided people need to die under their terms not the terms of the patient.

Before you start to mistrust the medical fraternity I want to remind you that this is a miniscully small percentage of the doctors and nurses currently practicing today. There seem to be a lot of them within the pages of this book but it spans a number of countries and is really not representative of the calibre of medical personnel worldwide. Visit your doctor and attend hospital secure in the knowledge you won’t die…today.

You can buy this book through Booktopia.