10 Suspicious VA Hospital Deaths Under Investigation, One Ruled a Homicide: Report

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Authorities are investigating a string of about 10 suspicious deaths of patients, including one ruled a homicide, at a Veterans Affairs hospital in West Virginia out of concern they were targeted, according to three people familiar with the probe.

In October, the body of Felix Kirk McDermott, an 82-year-old Army veteran who died last year at a VA hospital in Clarksburg, West Virginia, was exhumed and brought to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

A federal medical examiner conducted an autopsy and concluded that McDermott’s sudden death on April 9, 2018, was caused by an injection of insulin into his abdomen – which can kill someone who is not diabetic.

There was no order for the injection in McDermott’s hospital records, and he had no history of diabetes or insulin use to control his blood sugar levels, according to the autopsy report.

“It’s just not right,” his daughter Melanie Proctor told USA TODAY. “I thought my dad was safe there.”

Proctor, whose father had dementia, and her lawyer said investigators with the VA’s Office of Inspector General told them his death is one of about 10 they are reviewing, a figure confirmed by a person briefed on the federal investigation who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Proctor said they told her the other veterans were “all about in the same shape,” and they all received suspicious doses of insulin.

Authorities are investigating a “person of interest” in the case, according to the office of U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, and a claim filed with the VA by McDermott’s family.


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