Confused by how much the patients knew about their own condition– possibly due to the explosion of medical information readily available online–a group of health professionals stormed a local hospital yesterday, overturning beds and brutally attacking patients.
The mob appears to have been organized using Facebook. Authorities report the incident (actually a series of incidents as various groups appeared in waves) was organized by a Dr. Arthur Suahveyklinger, who was fired from the hospital ten years ago.
Suahveyklinger reached out to dozens of groups of health professionals online, sharing dramatic stories of neglect and malpractice at the hospital. Over time he convinced many of these groups that they should take over the treatment of these patients, not just to save them, but also for their own practice and to increase their patient rosters.
Authorities believe this is only the latest of several attempts by Suahveyklinger to kill several particular patients he treated over a decade ago. One of these was a patient at the hospital at the time of the attack. Suahveyklinger gave the mob several photos of this patient and his family, telling them to “watch out for these” and “do whatever it takes” to drive them out of the hospital. Three of the patient’s family members were visiting the hospital at the time of the attack. All are being treated for life-threatening injuries.
It seems clear that somehow Suahveyklinger had advance information about who would be in the hospital that night. He distributed photos of what he claimed were the worst offenders to those who agreed to “help him right this wrong.” Besides his former patient, the list included about a dozen patients who cannot walk, and four that are not capable of speech. Two had their mouths wired shut, but this was not shown in the photos.
Revenge, discrediting the doctors at the hospital, and preventing anyone from bringing charges against him are all being considered as Suahveyklinger’s possible motive.
When asked to explain how they could possibly mistake patients for doctors, mob members maintained they “acted in good faith.” They were told the hospital was offering grossly substandard medical care and posed a danger to the community, so they felt it was their responsibility to act.
“What Art said made sense to me,” one of the participating clinicians, who asked to remain anonymous, said. “Although I was playing Xbox the entire time he was explaining it, so I don’t really remember that much.”
“We got in there and it was just the way he said it would be,” another mob member said, also speaking on condition of anonymity. “There were the people he had told us about. I quizzed them a little and it was clear they didn’t know what they were doing, so we took decisive action. In retrospect it was a mistake.”
Other mob members report being shocked at how much the patients knew about their medical conditions.
“I had a long talk with one of them about arthritis,” said one surgeon, who also asked to remain anonymous. “She knew more about it than I did, so I thought, of course this is a doctor. Who would tell her all that?”
It seems bizarre, but authorities claim the mob-of-doctors-vs-patients scheme is surprisingly common.
“Maybe he thought he could get the hospital shut down, if the patients kept getting worse instead of better,” one of the nurses convicted in the attack said. “I didn’t think it was possible to trick someone into thinking a patient was a doctor, just because they were in a hospital, but that’s exactly what they did.
“I talked to some of them about medicine and it seemed like they responded, but now that I think about it I’m not sure who I was talking to. It was very loud.
“But they sounded just like doctors. I heard one say, ‘Code blue, get me 20 ccs of penicillin, stat!’Why would a patient say that?”
Some of the attacked patients reported seeing a few very attractive people jumping from hospital bed to hospital bed, yelling profanity at the incoming mob and shouting “Treat me! Treat me! Please!” during the attack.
“The fake patients looked like they belonged on television,” said Garry Karp, who was in the hospital for a chemotherapy treatment. “Perfect hair, perfect makeup, perfect clothes. I don’t know how they got in. They were screaming and moaning, and the others were shouting at us to do some real medicine or get out of our beds. It was surreal.” He was attacked with a syringe and sustained serious injuries.
Playing to the deepest desires of the health professionals he conned, Suahveyklinger told several childless nurses that there were babies in need of rescue who would likely also need to be adopted. Authorities can’t understand, however, how these women became so confused that they attacked the babies.
“It’s the old story of one baby being given away to 10 different women”, one police officer said. “What’s different is that these women all thought the baby was a doctor that was harming the baby they had been promised, and worked together to beat the crap out of it.”
“We were just doing what he said to do,” one of the nurses charged with attacking the infants said (name withheld pending trial). “He said the parents were drug addicts and breaking up and the baby might end up anywhere. Anyway, those things seemed awful smart for babies. It felt like they could understand what we were saying to them.”
Indeed, it took hours to convince some members of the mob that the patients were not doctors, despite their knowledge of medical symptoms and treatment options. It is possible some of the patients were dressed as doctors and nurses just prior to the attack. Authorities are reviewing security footage to identify who might be responsible for aiding the deception, and to locate the “fake patients” seen inciting the mob.