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...I will prescribe regimen for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone. To please no one will I prescribe a deadly drug, nor give advice which may cause his death..." (The Hippocratic Oath, cited in Geringer, 2000, p. 1)

For many people, the realization of the existence of medical serial killers is particularly frightening since they are under the Hippocratic Oath to heal their patients, not participate in their death. In spite of the medical community's assertion that medical serial killers are extremely rare (Kinnell, 2000, p. 1594), this profession has produced more serial killers than all other professions combined (Whittle & Ritchie, 2000; Hickey, 1997). Contrary to the typical motives of doctors who enter the profession to heal and assist patients, these doctors are attracted to the profession because they are motivated by the power, control and potential benefits such as financial gain. Furthermore, hospitals with the available supply of drugs and elderly and sickly patients provide them with an ideal environment for committing crimes that can be easily concealed (Ramsland, 2001, "Motives: Part 1," p. 1).

Thus, it is little wonder that history is replete with documented instances of multiple murders by doctors, which confirms that individuals with a pathological desire to wield the power of life and death are drawn to the medical profession (Kinnell, 2000, p. 1594). Because medical professionals commit murders for a wide variety of reasons, it is important to note that this analysis of medical serial killers will exclude doctors who commit euthanasia and those who kill for political objectives such as the Nazi and the Japanese doctors involved in ethnic cleansing and biological warfare respectively. Even with these exclusions, there still remain individual medical serial killers whose crimes have been documented since the 19th century: Dr. Thomas Neill Cream (Bri...

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MEDICAL SERIAL KILLERS. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 22:21, July 01, 2022, from