From THCB’s NEW YORK DESK – Authorities in
Louisiana have arrested a doctor and two nurses in connection with the deaths
of scores of elderly patients at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Attorney General Charles Foti’s office said late yesterday that Dr. Ana Pou and nurses Cheri
Landry and Laura Bubo have been charged with murder in the deaths. A spokeswoman for his office says: “We’re not calling this
euthanasia. We’re not calling this mercy killings. This is second-degree murder."Industry observers have wondered for months what impact criminal charges would have on Tenet, which owns Memorial and three other hospitals in New Orleans. We now get to find out. On Tuesday, the company announced that it is selling Memorial and two other hospitals to the local Ochsner Health System. It is not clear how the charges will affect the deal.
Last night, on Boston Legal, Allen defended a doctor charged with “murdering” five people at a hospital in New Orleans in the days following Katrina. Most cases BL portrays on their show have some roots in reality, however embellished they may be for ratings sake. In watching that show, I remembered hearing of these charges being filed, but cannot recall an outcome or even a follow up. The basis for the show was that the five people who were administered lethal doses of pain medication were doomed anyway. The dier circumstances she was faced with, left her no alternative. These people were already in very bad shape. There was no drinkable water, no power, and no sign of help. Most of the doctors had fled prior to or immediately after Katrina hit. She remained to help as best she could. Allen argued that America was NOT America when Katrina hit. She was ultimately found innocent of the charges.
The reality: America was NOT, in fact, America when Katrina hit. The entire system broke down. Though I do not approve of the blame game, I think if anybody should be charged with neglegent homicide, it should be the government of Louisianna. This doctor should not only never have been charged with murder, she should have received a medal for her services, as it is very clear she was one of the few who actually did something to help the victims of this nightmare that was Katrina. I think each person should ask themselves, before condeming this woman for her actions, “What would I have wanted?” If you were ill to begin with, and then put in a situation where there was little to no medication for you, minimal staff poorly unequiped to treat you, no sign of any help on its way, and you were staring a brutally painful death right in the face, what would you want? Would you want to spend your last minutes suffering an unimaginable death, or would you want to die peacefully? Or put yourself in the doctors shoes. You are watching someone die a slow and painful death. Could you live with yourself, knowing there was something you could do to ease the torture these poor people suffered in the last days/hours of their life, but didnt?
I truly hope this woman was found innocent of the charges. She did the best she could to help these people.
As an critical care nurse, I would stand up for the nurses and the doctors if what they did was ease the patients’ suffering. I wasn’t there and am glad I wasn’t. But I can only partially imagine how bad things were. Probably a lot like a battlefield with a lot of wounded and dead around, and no hope in sight. Had I been in the situation I may have very well done exactly what they did. Nurses and doctors are going to have to stand up for these 3 people. Be willing to say that yes, if it was as they say, we would have done the same thing. This isn’t standard procedure. This was like a war zone and “standards” don’t hold up. I would only hope that when I am near death someone will be kind enought to ease me from this life rather than having to die like a rat!
Do, I understand Eliastam and others correctly? If intentional killing was done by the doctor and nurses it was morally defensible?
Those people should have been properly evacuated so it didn’t GET to that point.
The first thing you ought to do is to think about those who are least able to move themselves to safety.
Euthanasia or not, that these poor people were left there is a disgrace.
I’m sure Foti was at that hospital listening to those poor sick,injured,hurting people beg for water,food and medicine,of which there was was little to none of any of the three.He must have been there, because nobody sitting in an air conditioned office,drinking ice cold fresh water with acesses to all the food he and his very comfortable,healthy friends could ever want could ever pass judgement on the hell like sitution that the patients and staff had to endure for DAYS at Memorial Hospital.And since he is such a caring man that he put his life on the line to help the patients during that time I’m sure he will also be filing charges on the Powers That Be that could have sent help and did nothing.This man makes me sick.I wonder what political office he has his eye on.My prayers are with the Dr. and 2 nurses that cared enough to stay and give what little comfortable and care they could.
I had hoped these charges would never happen. When I first read of these reports several months ago, I tried to imagine myself in that setting, and I decided I could understsnd what happened. Unless new and surprising facts change what appears to be the case, I think many of us doctors may have made the same decision. This is even more likely since it was impossible to call an outside expert and ask for advice. The doctor was faced with what she knew at the time; all her life experiences and training were all she had to go on. And she never expected to be faced with this kind of situation.
I wonder when they are going to charge Mayor Ray Nagan, Senator Mary Landrieu, Governor Blanco, FEMA Director Mike Brown, and the Bush Administration with Negligent Homicide?