Why Did Christina Aistrup Hansen Kill the Patients?

Image Credit: Tommy Wildner/Netflix

Netflix’s Danish crime series ‘The Nurse’ revolves around Pernille Kurzmann Larsen, the new addition to the nursing staff of Nykøbing Falster Hospital’s emergency department. Pernille is mentored by Christina Aistrup Hansen, who is regarded as one of the best nurses in the hospital. After they form a professional bond, Pernille finds out that Christina is involved in the multiple inexplicable deaths that happened at their ER. As the series depicts, Pernille’s discoveries played a part in the arrest and conviction of Christina. But one of the ambiguous elements concerning the case is the nurse’s motive. If you are curious to know more about the same, here’s what we can share!

Christina Hansen’s Quest for Heroism Leads to Patient Deaths

Ever since Christina’s arrest, the prosecution had tried to pinpoint the motive behind her attempts to kill several patients admitted to the A&E department of the Nykøbing Falster Hospital. In the series, Christina injects diazepam into patients to save them. When the patients suffer from cardiac arrests after the injections, Christina tries her best to save them. She puts in “heroic efforts” while giving compressions and guides doctors concerning the conditions of the patients, which earns her appreciation and attention from her colleagues, doctors, and superiors. Even when the patients die after the diazepam injection, Christina gets applauded for trying her best to serve and save them.

Image Credit: Tine Harden/Netflix

Kasper Barfoed’s series concludes that the deaths of the patients are the result of Christina’s attempts to become a heroic figure at the hospital. In reality, the same was explained by Michael Boolsen, who evaluated Christina’s psychological condition and detailed the same during the nurse’s trial. “Under psychological examination, the patient [Christina] can be described as driven by emotion with deficient self-control, albeit with a degree of calculation. She exhibits a poor level of introspection and self-awareness. On the whole, she appears to suffer from a personality disorder of the histrionic type,” Boolsen said during the trial, according to Kristian Corfixen’s source text of the series ‘The Nurse: Inside Denmark’s Most Sensational Criminal Trial.’

According to Boolsen, the histrionic personality disorder is characterized by “superficial and fragile contact with others, a tendency to dramatize, distinct susceptibility to the influence of others, egocentricity, vanity, lack of compassion, abnormal vulnerability, and chronic seeking of thrills, acknowledgment, and attention in their lives.” Boolsen’s conclusions make it clear that Christina tried to kill the patients with diazepam to garner thrills and attention. The prosecution further focused on the aspect of thrill while detailing the motive of the defendant. “As a rule, the motive of ‘seeking the thrill of murder’ is known from articles on notorious American serial killers. Although it has seldom been seen to occur in Danish criminal history, this was also the motive that the prosecution tendered as the impetus for Christina Aistrup Hansen’s actions,” Corfixen wrote in his book.

Christina Aistrup Hansen//Image Credit: Ekstra Bladet

Christina’s attempts to garner attention were further explained by Pernille, citing an example of her colleague allegedly wearing a cast without an injury. “It is classic Christina to get a cast put on an arm that is not broken, so she could parade around with it, and everyone would ask her what on earth happened to her. Then a cardiac arrest is not just a cardiac arrest, of course. It becomes the cardiac arrest where Christina had fought so hard that she broke her hand. Enter the drama, then she was the one in focus. She loved that,” Pernille said about the same, as per Corfixen’s book.

Considering the testimonies of Boolsen and Pernille and the accounts of Christina’s then-colleagues, the nurse’s need for attention played a part in the deaths of multiple patients. However, legally, she isn’t a murderer. Although Christina was initially convicted of three counts of murder and a single count of attempted murder, one of the two Danish High Courts later found her guilty of four attempted murders since there wasn’t any conclusive evidence that proved the drugs Christina injected into the three late patients were the sole cause of their deaths.

Read More: Where is Netflix’s The Nurse Filmed?