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Thursday, February 23, 2006

NPR reports on investigation of possible mercy killing in New Orleans hospital after Katrina

NPR reported on the ongoing investigation of possible euthanasia at Memorial Hospital in New Orleans.

The report describes 4 eyewitnesses that testify about activites that suggest but do not prove patients on the 7th floor ( operated by the Lifecare Hospital) were given lethal doses of drugs after it was decided that the "critical" patients either could not or would not be evacuated. The 7th floor housed a long term facility not operated by the corporation who owned Memorial Hospital.

According to NPR, witnesses described hearing that the decision had been made that the DNR patients on 7 would not be evacuated or left alive after the other patients were evacuated.

Apparently there are no witness testifying that they saw anyone administer the medications.

The New Orleans coroner is quoted as saying the bodies were too decomposed to allow a definitive diagnosis of cause of death.

To date no charges have been filed.

Regardless of the final outcome of the investigation and legal actions that may be taken and what really happened , this is one more sad aspect of the tragic events of Katrina.

1 comment:

Dr. Luke Van Tessel said...

Four eyewitnesses and scads of morphine and Ativan. This is a mess. If the water were rising and you were the attending, what would you do?

I'm glad it wasn't me.