The occupation of a doctor is regarded to be one of the noblest. However, there have been a few of them who were on the opposite end of the scale. These doctors, who were supposed to save lives, subjected their patients to horrific experiments and killed many of them. Here is a list of top 10 notorious doctors in history.
Top 10 Notorious Doctors in History:
10. Walter Freeman
Walter Freeman was an American neurologist who went on to become a notorious physician for his craze about lobotomy. Rather than a brutal intent, Freeman was driven by the passion to perfect the technique, which is outdated now, doing over 20 lobotomies in a single day. He frequently allowed media to witness his practice as well. He has done lobotomy on around 3,500 patients. And he was later banned from practice following the deaths of a number of patients.
9. Marcel Petiot
Petitot was a French physician and serial killer who is alleged to have killed at least 60 persons. He started a clinic after an internship in a mental hospital, which soon attracted controversy due to alleged illegal abortions and additive medicines. Even though he evaded any legal action initially, he was caught when foul stench and smoke was reported to be emanating from his home. The police found human body parts in the fire in the house. After trial, Petitot was beheaded on 25 May 1946.
8. Jayant Patel
Known as ‘Doctor Death,’ Jayant Patel was an Indian doctor who worked in USA and later in Australia. He is believed to be responsible for as many as 87 deaths during his practice between 2003 and 2005. Due to his incompetence and lack of knowledge. He was alleged to be conducting operations unnecessarily, even on other doctors’ patients some time. He also allegedly forged documents. In 2010, he was found guilty of killing several patients, and sentenced for 7 years in prison. One of the most notorious doctors in history.
7. Carl Clauberg
Carl Clauberg was a German physician who was among the many doctors who carried out experiments on the unfortunate inmates of the Nazi concentration camps. He worked in Aushwitz, having got approval from Heinrich Himmler to conduct sterilization experiments on women. He tried to find cheap methods of sterilization, injecting acids in to uterus and all. Around 700 women were subjected to experiments, many of who lost lives. Clauberg was later caught by Soviet forces and released. He was arrested again but he died before going on trial.
6. Shiro Ishii
Shiro Ishii was a Japanese microbiologist and a lieutenant general in the biological warfare unit of the Japanese Army during the second Sino–Japanese war. He started his experiments in 1942. He exposed war prisoners and sometimes even civilians to dangerous diseases like plague and anthrax. His other experiments included stimulated strokes and heart attacks, forced abortions etc. Thousands of people died of his experiments. After the Second World War, Ishii was arrested by the American forces. However, he was given immunity in exchange of his medical knowledge.
5. Harold Shipman
Harold Shipman was a British doctor who is considered to be one of the most prolific serial killers in history. Since he began medical practice in 1974, he has sent more than two hundred people to death. His criminal activities only emerged in 1998, when other doctors began to notice the high death rate among his patients. Shipman was prosecuted in 2000, for 15 deaths and forgery of wills, and sentenced for 15 life terms. However, he hanged himself in his prison cell in 2004.
4. John Bodkin Adams
John Bodkin Adams was a British doctor who was allegedly responsible for the death of 160 patients, especially elderly people, during his practice between 1946 and 1956. The most peculiar thing about the case is that 132 of those who died left huge sums of money and other assets to him in their will. It was believed that the wills were written by Adams himself. Although he was brought to court several times, he couldn’t be convicted. He continued his practice until his death.
3. H. H. Holmes
Dr. Henry Howard Holmes was one of the earliest recorded serial killers in American history. Born as Herman Mudgett, he graduated from Michigan Medical School. He used to steal bodies during his study, and disfigure them to claim the deaths to be accidents and get insurance amounts. He later moved to Chicago and started a hotel. The hotel was virtually a torture chamber where the inmates frequently disappeared. Holmes would torture and kill the people, especially women, in the basement. He used to strip the bodies of flesh and make skeleton models. Holmes was eventually caught and hanged in 1897.
2. Michael Swango
Michael Swango is a former doctor from America, who is convicted for killing three patients, despite over 60 killings are attributed to him. His fascination with blood and death reflected in his medical career. During his internship at Ohio State University, the nurses there observed that his patients dying mysteriously. No results emerged in investigation though he was expelled. Later he moved to Illinois, and used to poison his colleagues there. He was caught and sentenced. After his release, he forged documents and worked in Zimbabwe as a doctor, leading many patients to death. He escaped from there but was caught in 1997. Now he is serving a life sentence.
1. Josef Mengele
Josef Rudolf Mengele is perhaps the most notorious doctor in history. Known as the ‘Angel of Death’, this German doctor’s atrocities during the World War II, are difficult to take count, let alone to fathom. Having been conscripted to Army after graduation, he served in the Waffen SS. His evil acts, masked as medical experiments, started when he was appointed as the medical officer in Aushwitz concentration camp. Amputations, shock treatments, sterilisation and serum injections were all part of his practice. Very few survived his experiments. After the war, he evaded arrest by escaping to South America.