My special guest tonight is author A.J. Flick who's where to discuss her book call Toxic Rage about the shocking plans of one doctor to murder another.
Brian Stidham fell in love with Tucson, Arizona, the minute he came to town. A young and talented eye surgeon, he accepted a job with an established eye surgeon to take over his pediatric patients.
“It’s a beautiful place,” Stidham told a friend. “I can live right there by the mountains and go hiking. It’s a great deal for me there. The partner I’ll be working with is ultracool. He’s giving me the keys to the kingdom.”
Brad Schwartz, the doctor who hired Brian, was ambitious and possessed surgical skills few others had. But he was a troubled man.
Within a year of Stidham’s arrival in Tucson, the medical relationship would be severed by Schwartz’s personal troubles. Stidham broke away to start his own practice. Rumors abounded within the medical community that Schwartz was incensed and considered the departure a betrayal. His rage grew, even driving a wedge between him and his fiancée, Lourdes Lopez, a former prosecutor.
Three years after Stidham moved to Tucson, his life ended in an empty, darkened parking lot. But who would murder such a nice man in such a violent manner? Lourdes, who had witnessed Schwartz’s toxic rage toward his former partner, feared she knew. But would her suspicions be enough to catch the killer? Find out in Toxic Rage.
Violence, crime, and social problem are seen in all areas of life, and their incidence is higher among profession- als that are constantly interacting with people (Gillespie et al. 2010). The health care workers take place among such professionals. According to WHO, the rate of healthcare professionals who have been subjected to vio- lence, at least once in their lifetime, varies between 8% and 38%, around the world. In addition, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, healthcare professionals are the most vulnerable to work- place violence, and hospitals are the public places where violence against employees takes place commonly (Shea et al. 2017; Sun et al. 2017). Although healthcare profes- sionals are mostly exposed to psychological violence, the risk of physical violence is stated to be seven times higher for healthcare professionals (Mento et al. 2020).
Turkish Statistical Institute (TURKSTAT) data showed that there is a significant increase in deaths due to violent acts, which even affects the forensic case profile of the Turkey (Akçan et al. 2019). Increas- ing incidents of violence, potentially increase the use of violence by people who experience or witness the violence, and this can cause a chain of violence that spreads throughout the society (Mercy et al. 2017). Although investments in healthcare have increased, especially over the last two decades, it is interesting to note that violence against healthcare profession- als has also increased in parallel. In a study conducted by Baykan et al. (Baykan et al. 2015), it has been stated that 86.4% of the medical doctors participating in the study reported that they had been subjected to vio- lence at least once in their lifetime, while 26.8% of them had experienced physical violence. In addition, it is reported that nearly half of the healthcare professionals in Turkey are exposed to violence every year (Bayram et al. 2017). Turkey has seen the most brutal outcome of the violence, homicide of healthcare professionals, by their patients or patients’ relatives for the first time in recent years.
In this study, nationwide public news from Turkey about healthcare professionals killed during the 20-year period between 2000 and 2019 were included and analyzed. The selected and analyzed news about violent incidents were obtained through various internet search engines using Turkish keywords such as “sağlık çalışanı cinay- eti (healthcare professional homicide)”, “doktor cinayeti (doctor’s homicide)”, and “hemşire cinayeti (nurse homi- cide)”. These internet searches were repeated consider- ing each branch of healthcare professionals (including pharmacists, midwives, dentists, medical and labora- tory technicians, and medical officers). Homicide cases were evaluated in respect of age and sex of the victim, place of the homicide (such as home, hospital (includ- ing ambulances for paramedics), and out of the hospital), city, urbanity or rurality of the place, type of the victim’s workplace (state hospital, private hospital, or university hospital), the profession of the victim, the relationship between the murderer and the victim (partner/spouse, colleague, patient, unknown person, etc.), the sex of the murderer and the weapon/method used in the homicidal act. Criteria that we could not reach for the cases were labeled as unknown and included in the descriptive sta- tistics. Cases that were certain to be a homicide as the manner of death were included in the study, and cases with suspicions in terms of the manner of death were excluded from the study.