"I have already said that if you kill a doctor, all the doctors are instantly on your neck. But what if the man who does the killing is a physician himself? That complicates the situation most damnably..."
---Foursquare: The Story of a Fourfold Life by John Oliver
I've been reading, along with everybody else, the story of the Army major and psychiatrist Dr. Nidal Hasan who killed thirteen people in a spree shooting at
The CNN article today interviewed two of Dr. Hasan's patients, who both said nothing but glowing things about him and his care. I've blogged about spree killers before ("Shooter Psychology") but this case is different. It got my thinking about the general issue of physicians who kill.
Physician killers are certainly a relative rarity, but they are not unknown. Dr. Jack Kevorkian is probably the most famous here in the
But I digress. Getting back to what happened at
Regardless, a killing by a physician---particularly by a psychiatrist---creates a bizarre aftermath. The military is sending mental health professionals to counsel the victims and witnesses; I'd be willing to bet those military mental health professionals will be required to check their weapons at the door.