Dr. Harold Shipman

6 June 2016

Dr. Harold Shipman was born on January 14, 1946 at Nottingham, United Kingdom. He graduated from Leeds University and began working at Pontefract General Infirmary in 1970. But in 1998, Shipman was arrested for the death of Kathleen Grundy and a year later, it was found out that he had killed 15 elderly patients. He was given a life sentence in prison for the murders of these victims.

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But the horror did not end there. Because in July 2002, further investigations on his case showed that Shipman killed 215 patients. And of this number, 171 were women and 44 were men, with the oldest being a 93-year-old woman and the youngest a 47-year-old man. From then on, Shipman was tagged as “Dr. Death”.

But on January 2004, Shipman was found dead in his prison cell after hanging himself with his bed sheets.

There have been several similar cases about professionals abusing their power and taking their responsibilities for granted. And most of the time, it is the unknowing ordinary people who ends up as victims. And during such events, the public does not know who to blame for the death of several people.

In this case, the relatives of Shipman’s victims are left without peace of mind. Basically because despite the large number of murders charged on Shipman, the killer doctor did not admit that he did all the killings up to his death.

The story of Shipman and the huge number of patients he killed prove that there are several sides that should have been held responsible for the crimes. First of course, is Shipman, because he abused his powers to a very high extent. And this practice can be connected to several professionals who do not know the limit of their authority. Some doctors, like Shipman, are overwhelmed by the fact that they have the power to save life and induce death to other people. And this habit is the most vital role that every professional should learn how to control.

Secondly, the relatives of the victims should somehow, be responsible for the death of their loved ones as well. They should have been observant about how Shipman treats his patients and asked how his patients ended up when brought to his clinic. If they were able to find out that a series of death has been happening in that place, they could have searched for other hospital that could aid their dying relatives.

Lastly, this story shows that there is a lot to blame the government and the police officials. First and foremost, why were they not able to detect that a series of serial killing was happening in Hyde, Greater Manchester? Why did it take them 20 years to see that such dreadful medical malpractice was killing several people?

In addition, when Shipman was proven to be addicted to the painkiller pethidine even when he was still in Todmorden, Lancashire, he should have been prevented from creating his own clinic where all these killings happened. It is impossible that he did not request necessary permits for his clinic. During this time, he could have been prevented if the authorities were vigilant enough to check his background and his sanity before they allowed him to build such.

If only the authorities were able to check his history as a doctor, Shipman would have been thwarted from doing such crimes. And if the authorities were watchful about the series of deaths in Shipman’s clinic, such abuse of powers and neglect of responsibilities would have not happened.

In the end, all people involved in this issue should not spare themselves from blame and guilt because the status of the society dictates that everybody should be accountable to each other. If you have seen that something wrong is happening to your community, then you should report it to proper authorities. The authorities, as what they ought to do, should serve and protect the people in order to avoid same cases from happening again.

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