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Man kills wife, self at Atlanta hospital

You all probably know about this news. I think nothing else we can do to improve security in hospitals... Shootings just happen everywhere.

ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) -- A 71-year-old man fatally shot his ailing wife in her hospital room and then killed himself Monday morning, authorities said.

Donald Shields walked into St. Joseph's Hospital at about 6 a.m. and shot his wife, Beverly, in her intensive care room before turning the gun on himself, said Fulton County Police spokesman Cpl. Gary Syblis.

The shootings were confined to one room and no other injuries were reported, police said.

Beverly Shields, 70, had suffered from a heart-related illness, Syblis said. He did not say what sort of treatment she had undergone, but said she had been in the hospital for several weeks and that her recovery was not going well.

Syblis would not speculate about a motive and declined to say how the man got a gun into his wife's hospital room.

A hospital spokeswoman declined to comment on the shooting, saying hospital officials were preparing a statement.

St. Joseph's, founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1880, is Atlanta's oldest hospital. The 360-bed facility in north Atlanta specializes in cardiac care.

Quoted from http://edition.cnn.com/2005/US/08/15/hospital.shooting.ap/

Heartbreaking! This happens with great frequency in Florida, but usually in the LTC care setting, ALFs and quite often in their homes. Somewhere along the line, we are really missing the boat with our elders. Those childless elderly couples, or those with uncaring and absent adult children just cannot cope with the illness of their partner. I wish Hospice services were used as frequently and as early as they should be. When the entire family is supported, not just medically, this type of tragedy is less likely to occur. I cannot imagine the horror of feeling that alone.

There but for the grace of God go all of us..

Wasn't there a thread posted by a nurse who works at this hospital? Just curious. It is true that this is heartbreaking. :crying2:

Not to go off thread, in regards to Hospice, I did a paper on the underuse of Hospice in LTC.....IMHO, many don't want to "let go" or even admit there isn't a chance. Heck....look at all the new drugs we have, etc.

I do not know the details of this couples problems or the details of the shootings, but it does make me think of how we seem to take better care of our ailing pets then we do people. If we have a beloved pet who is suffering, we help them die in peace, with dignity. This is just a "quick reply". So do we carry the curative aspect of medicine to far ? Is it ethical ? I do know that this is a sad aspect of nursing care .

McD

sad event...i can only imagine how the nurses in that icu feel

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