Nurse at centre of coronavirus killing claims takes legal action


A former nurse at the Wilhelmina hospital in Assen is taking legal action against Drenthe regional health board for passing on information he gave them about his work on a coronavirus ward, which led to him being suspected of 20 counts of murder. 

The public prosecution department told Theodoor, 32, last month he was no longer a suspect, after a year-long investigation, during which he spent six weeks in jail. But no one has yet said publicly that he is not guilty of any offence.

Theodoor, who is interviewed extensively in Saturday’s Volkskrant, has always denied murder and says his earlier statements have been misunderstood. 

He told the paper he had worked on a small coronavirus ward in the hospital under tremendous pressure until he, himself, needed psychiatric help. 

During his conversations, he told care workers that he had “prematurely ended the lives of some 20 patients” by giving them extra morphine or closing their oxygen supply. But Theodoor told the Volkskrant his words had been misinterpreted, and reflected day-to-day practice on the ward, where people died every day.

“If they had prosecuted me, they would have had to prosecute every nurse who worked on a coronavirus ward in the Netherlands,” he said.

Despite patient confidentiality rules, workers at the clinic passed on comments he made about his work to their superiors. They, in turn, considered the claims so serious, brought in the public prosecution department. 

The local health board declined to comment on the case but did say it stood by its decision to break confidentiality rules to “prevent greater risks to society”. 

Theodoor, who has an hbo college degree in nursing, has since left the profession. No evidence that anyone was murdered on the ward has been found.

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