Taking Lives: Dr. Michael Swango

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The case of physician Michael Swango not only exposed the dark side of a man who had taken an oath to do no harm, it also opened our eyes to a professional environment where doctors accepted the word of fellow physicians over that of nurses and patients—even as evidence of gross misbehavior piled up.

Michael grew up in Quincy, Illinois and graduated as valedictorian at the Quincy Catholic Boys High School. He served in the Marine Corps, receiving an honorable discharge in 1980. He then attended Quincy College followed by Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.

His troubles were first noticed in medical school. Although he was a brilliant student, he preferred to work as an ambulance attendant rather than concentrate on studying. Even at that young age, he had an odd fascination with dying patients. Michael Swango’s patients often ended up "coding," or suffering life-threatening emergencies. Several died unexpectedly.

Join us at the quiet end today for a true story that actually is stranger than fiction: Taking Lives: The Crimes of Dr. Michael Swango.

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Madison Reed

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