Medicine: Death Follows Art

There were no obvious clues—no telltale marks on the body. Yet the deaths occurred so quickly and unexpectedly that the staff realized that they could not have been accidental. A killer was on the loose in the hospital, someone intimately familiar with all of modern medicine's lethal drugs and tools. It was a psychopathic physician whose mind had twisted from healing to homicide.

This macabre fantasy, conceived by Playwright Paddy Chayefsky for the 1971 black humor film The Hospital, has been overshadowed by reality. Last week investigators were virtually convinced that many of the two dozen puzzling deaths at the Veterans Administration...

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