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VICTIMS IMPACT STATEMENT

Southwest Region Case File Number 05/17

Court Location: 415 Hunter Street, Woodstock Ontario


In the matter of: R.v. Elizabeth Tracy Mae Wettlaufer
Victim/writers name: Dianne Elizabeth Crawford

Emotional Impact
My father was James Silcox. I was his Power of Attorney. This position was bestowed on
me by my parents because they trusted my abilities as a Registered Nurse to safeguard
their health and wellbeing.
I worked diligently as an R.N. for 40 years to give my patients the best possible care, to
enhance their quality of life, to support their families and to be an advocate for their rights.
I also taught many Registered Practical Nurses the Medication Administration Coarse
through Conestoga Collage and later in my career I taught Personal Support Worker
students through St. Louis Adult Learning Centre As a teacher, I emphasized how to care
for our seniors with empathy while maintaining their dignity. Throughout my career I
worked consistently to uphold the dignity and trustworthiness of nursing Then Elizabeth
Wettlaufer destroyed the public trust of my profession.
I know from working in hospitals and nursing homes that it is easy it is to access both
insulin and syringes. I appreciated the ease of obtaining the supplies I needed to care for
my patients when I was dispensing physician-ordered medications. But now, I wonder if
greater control over those medications could have saved my fathers life I just dont
know. Where do I stand now? Do I condemn a system that has worked well in hospitals
and nursing homes for years? My trust in a system I believed was basically sound has
been shattered.
Nine years ago when my Dad passed away after being a resident for less than 3 weeks, I
felt sorrow, grief and guilt for letting him down, for not keeping him safe. I thought I had
done my due diligence, but I questioned my skills as an R.N., a daughter, a caregiver, a
Power of Attorney.
On October 25, 2017 when Ms Wettlaufer was charged with my Dads murder, all those
emotions flooded back, threatening to drown me. Along with the pain and sorrow I felt
anger and disappointment: anger that this sort of thing can happen in Ontario a province
where we are proud of our health care system, and disappointment that so many
employers refuse to admit to the College of Nurses or the police that a staff member has
abused a resident, stolen medication, made serious medication errors. Instead, those
same staff members are often quietly discharged, only to get a job at another facility and
often continue their illegal, unprofessional actions. I question myself about why I didnt
push harder for an autopsy, in case that would have identified Dads murder at the time of
his death. Would that have saved the lives of any other of Ms. Wettlaufers victims?
When Ms Wettlaufer was charged with my Dads murder my mother was in another
nursing home in Woodstock Her health condition was stable. One week after she was
made aware about that there had been foul play in my fathers death, she became ill. I
found myself watching every move of the staff at her nursing home. The doctor could not
diagnose the cause of her illness and she passed away 2 1/2 weeks later. Did she die
from renewed grief and shock that her body could not handle? I will never know.
My moms dying in a nursing home, compounded by my fathers murder, once again
brought intense feelings of sadness and guilt. These emotions and more have been
tearing me up inside. I questioned my skills as an R.N., a daughter, a caregiver, a Power
of Attorney. Add to this a renewed feeling of mistrust in the nursing home system and the
nurses; with a feeling of Who can you trust, Was she murdered also? Why couldnt I
stop my parents from dying?
My emotional rollercoaster continues.
June 8, 2017. Cambridge Ontario Dianne Crawford