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They Died at Veterans Hospital. It Turns Out They Were Killed

Both men died from insulin injections
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2019 6:41 AM CDT
Updated Aug 29, 2019 7:01 AM CDT
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The men were killed with insulin injections.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – As many as 11 deaths are under investigation at a VA medical center in Clarksburg, W.Va., and two have been ruled homicides. The family of George Nelson Shaw, Sr., was "floored" to learn last month that his April 2018 death at Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center had been ruled a homicide by insulin injection, reports USA Today. An initial autopsy indicated the 81-year-old Air Force veteran died of heart failure. Months later, federal investigators sought permission to exhume his body. The family granted it, and a second autopsy revealed four injection sites. Insulin can cause dangerous blood sugar crashes in people without diabetes; Shaw didn't have it. Nor did Army veteran Felix Kirk McDermott, 82, who died by insulin injection a day before Shaw. He was reportedly admitted for aspiration pneumonia, per ABC News.

Shaw's widow, Norma, describes her husband's blood sugar crashing repeatedly four days after he arrived at the hospital dehydrated and with low blood pressure. The veteran who worked in the hospital's mail room for eight years after retiring as an Air Force communications specialist had recently been bowling. But "after that, he just went downhill. He couldn't feed himself, he didn't talk, he couldn't go to the bathroom by himself." Authorities have identified a person of interest as they continue to investigate other hospital deaths linked to low blood sugar, per ABC. A hospital rep tells CNN that the "allegations of potential misconduct … do not involve" any current employees. (An "unconscionable" error meant this veteran lost a leg.)

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