« | »

Doctors, Nurse Charged In NO Hospital Deaths

From the DNC’s Associated Press:

Memorial Medical Center remains closed in New Orleans on Tuesday, July 18, 2006.

3 arrested in New Orleans hospital deaths

By RUKMINI CALLIMACHI, Associated Press Writer

A doctor and two nurses who worked through the chaos that followed Hurricane Katrina were arrested overnight, accused of giving four patients stranded at their hospital lethal doses of morphine and a sedative, authorities said Tuesday.

The three were arrested on charges of being "principals to second-degree murder."

"We’re not calling this euthanasia. We’re not calling this mercy killings. This is second-degree murder," said Kris Wartelle, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Charles C. Foti.

The arrest warrants say that Dr. Anna Pou and the two nurses intentionally killed four patients at Memorial Medical Center "by administering or causing to be administered lethal doses of morphine sulphate (morphine) and midazolam (Versed)."

Foti had subpoenaed more than 70 people last fall in an investigation into rumors that medical personnel at Memorial Medical Center had euthanized patients who were in pain after the hurricane as they waited in miserable conditions for rescue.

"She is innocent. This whole thing is unfair," said Pou’s lawyer, Rick Simmons.

Her mother, Jeanette Pou, said she was distressed by her daughter’s arrest.

"Medicine was the most important thing in her life and I know she never ever did anything deliberately to hurt anyone," she said in a telephone interview.

Memorial Medical Center had been cut off by flooding after the Aug. 29 hurricane swamped New Orleans. Power was out in the 317-bed hospital and the temperatures inside rose over 100 degrees as the staff tried to tend to patients who waited four days to be evacuated.

At least 34 patients died there during that period, 10 of them patients of the hospital’s owner Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp. and 24 patients in a facility run by LifeCare Holdings Inc., a separate company.

After the bodies were recovered, Orleans Parish coroner Frank Minyard said they were so decomposed the deaths could only be listed as "Katrina-related."

He later said samples had been taken from dozens of patients who died at various hospitals and nursing homes to test for potentially lethal doses of drugs such as morphine.

In a December interview, Dr. Pou had told Baton Rouge television station WBRZ: "There were some patients there who were critically ill who, regardless of the storm, had the orders of do not resuscitate. In other words, if they died, to allow them to die naturally, and to not use heroic methods to resuscitate them."

"We all did everything in our power to give the best treatment that we could to the patients in the hospital to make them comfortable," Pou said then.

Harry Anderson, a spokesman for Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp., said the allegations, if proven true, were disturbing.

"Euthanasia is repugnant to everything we believe as ethical health care providers, and it violates every precept of ethical behavior and the law. It is never permissible under any circumstances," Anderson said.

In addition to Pou, nurses Cheri Landry and Lori Budo were arrested and later released on personal recognizance bonds, officials said.

It wasn’t immediately clear if Landry and Budo had attorneys who could comment.

Simmons said Pou was arrested and handcuffed at her house late Monday night.

"I told them that she is not a flight risk. I told them that she would surrender herself. Instead, they chose to arrest her in her scrubs so that they could present her scalp to the media," he said.

Angela McManus said Tuesday that her 70-year-old mother was among the patients who died at Memorial. Her mother had been recovering from a blood infection but seemed fine and was still able to speak when police demanded relatives of the ill evacuate. She died later that day, McManus said.

"At least now I’ll be able to get some answers," McManus said. "For months, I haven’t known what happened to my mom. I need some answers just to be able to function."

Tenet said Tuesday it is selling the now-closed Memorial Medical Center and two other area hospitals to Ochsner Health System, a sale expected to be completed by Aug. 31.

I wonder if any of the drama queens in our one party media will be charged as accessories?

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, July 18th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

No Responses to “Doctors, Nurse Charged In NO Hospital Deaths”

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.

« Front Page | To Top
« | »