NRL News

Australian “Angel of Death” nurse unlikely to face criminal charges for killing a patient, merely loses nursing license for two years

by | Mar 30, 2021

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Maura Kathryn Bannister

Maura Kathryn Bannister,  an Australian nurse who referred to herself as the “angel of death” lost her nursing license on March 19 but will unlikely face criminal charges.

On March 10, the Queensland (Australia) Civil And Administrative Tribunal of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, in the Bannister case decided to:

disqualify her from applying for registration as a health practitioner for a period of two years from the date of this decision, and

prohibit, under the National Law s 196(4), from providing any health service for a period of two years from the date of this decision.

An article by Lydia Lynch, published in the Brisbane Times, stated

Maura Kathryn Bannister, 60, administered an unprescribed dose of morphine to an elderly and frail family friend who was receiving palliative care at home after a fall.

Knowing the woman had already taken one dose or morphine that morning, Ms. Bannister then gave another dose “greater than that prescribed, without any direction from the general practitioner to do so”.

“Thereafter she did not render or arrange medical assistance for the lady, who passed away later that morning,” the findings read.

Lynch reports that Bannister referred to herself as the “angel of death” and “told colleagues she was proud of helping an elderly friend to die.” 

The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) (August 3, 2017) published a Netherlands study titled “End-of-Life Decisions in the Netherlands over 25 years” []. A summary concludes, “Data from physicians in the Netherlands show that the percentage of patients in whom an end-of-life decision preceded death increased from 39% in 1990 to 58% in 2015.”

The study indicates that in 2015 there were 7,254 assisted deaths. That figure included 6,672 euthanasia deaths and 150 assisted suicide deaths. The  Netherlands euthanasia law did not prevent 431 terminations of life without request.

The euthanasia lobby will argue that legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide will regulate and prevent these types of deaths. In fact, it normalizes it as an acceptable medical practise and makes it impossible to prevent or even censure someone who carries out similar act.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.

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