From THCB’s New York Desk … A defense fund has been set up to help cover legal expenses
for Dr. Anna Pou and the two nurses charged with murder by Louisiana attorney
general Charles Foti in the Memorial Medical Center case last week. Contributions should be
Dr. Daniel Nuss, MD
Professor and Chairman
LSU Dept. Of Otolaryngology
533 Bolivar St, 5th Floor ENT Suite New Orleans, LA 70112
I am a candidate for Attorney General and have been critical of Dr. Pou’s handling of the Dr. Pou case. But I do the same thing. You should know about this before you decide to vote for me as you need to know all the facts. Please study State v. Judge Patricia Hedges in which I utterly decimate the public reputations of 5 innocent human beings before being forced to dismiss the case because I had no evidence. I admitted that I operated from “a presumption of guilt”. You might also view the Dead Pelican website in which the audio of Dan Kyle about me is present.
I was working in a hospital on the Mississippi Gulf Coast during Katrina. The conditions in the hospital were terrible during and after the storm, we too had families of employees taking shelter, on top of having patients. No fresh water, no sewer, limited food, and no way of understanding the magnitude of the storm. Decisions had to be made in a split second at times, and sometimes people whom you would normally look to for decisions were unable to make them. For anyone that did not go through this storm and live through what medical personnel and citizens had to go through, you have NO OPINION as to how someone should have responded or acted during this tragic event. I do not know Dr. Pou, but i can be apathetic to her situation. As an RN having gone through such an event, I can say, Thank God someone was being a leader and advocate for families and patients during such an unfortunate event. Going through Katrina as a caregiver during that time was hopefully the hardest day I will personally ever have to go through again. There is no One person to blame for what happend. Thank you Dr. Pou.
Robbie, RN, Mississippi
And so you see I told you all the truth about Anna and the results of the Grand Jury before it ever happened. And now I will tell you all also another truth though I suspect many of you will not want to hear, but the truth is nevertheless the truth: there where others whom Anna also killed. Look to the bodies recovered from the hospital chapel and you will have your answer also.
If you want to talk here is my number:15093864737
Anna is also my friend and I promised her I would not talk about the things we have talked about. I wish I could tell you more, but I made a promise and I am therefore bound to keep it. What I can tell you is this: Foti was not rhe principle in the original investigation. Instead Jullie Cullen, Director of the Criminal Division of the Attorney Generals Office spearheaded the original investigation. What I can tell you is this: the case against Anna will not go further than the Grand Jury. There will be no court case and the charges will be dropped. I wish I could tell you more, but I cannot. But please know this:what happened on the seventh floor was done out of love.
First of all I am an MD and I did go through Katrina and I do know Anna Pou. But trying to be objective and somewhat logical here no one is allowed or justified to “play God” and decide when another’s life should end. However, we are bound to reduce suffering whenever possible. It is completely bogus to say that you cannot give versed and morpine together– we do it all the time in ICU or the OR etc. Therefore, Foti doesn’t know what he is talking about. We are usually able to monitor those patients but in this case of course no one could so a judgement call may have been made. Also hospice patients can sometimes tolerate doses way in excess of what a “normal” dose may be. All that being said no one can judge what was done without all the facts. Fron what I know of this person years ago she would not murder someone. Would she try to make them comfortable before she was forced to abandon her patient? yes. Do not even try to imagine what that must be like to someone who takes their calling seriously. And yes there are some of us who do consider our jobs that still. But no one has the right to take another’s life by law. We do have the right and the responsibilty to make the end of life as easy as possible even under unbelievable circumstances. No one who was not here can imagine it. I don’t care what you saw on TV. If you did not live it you just don’t know. We still live it every single day. So quit being judgmental until you have all the facts. Then if it turns out that she did indeed commit euthansia ok you get to judge her. Then maybe the next time we have a major disaster in this country you need to go volunteer to take care of all the sick people for the first 7 days or so & you can walk a mile in her shoes. (but you will also have to take total responsibilty for whether they live or die to really be able to do that)
Stephen! You stated that “it logically follows that most people would have done the same in her position.” Can I ask you a question? Do you know what Dr.Pou did? You also state that “she came to a decision.” Do you know what that decision was and why she made it? You stated that “she could not simply sit and watch those patients go through days of agony.” So do you know what she did? Stephan, I understand that your remarks are well intentioned, as I think most of the comments have been, but with all due and sincere respect, you do not understand what you are saying. I wish Stephan that I could tell you more, but I made a promise and I have to keep it. Perhaps one of these days you will know and understand. Until then, I am so sorry.
Bill… That is ridiculous. This country is by no means becoming a nation that considers murder an act of compassion “under certain circumstances”. This is a nation of rational individuals who understand what that hospital was like after Katrina. One of you said that “this is not a story about a city called New Orleans or about a storm called Katrina or a hospital named Memorial.” In a place with the wretched smell of human excrement and the 110 degree heat, and the sound of gunshots that became routine, and the moans of agony coming from every room, to say that this story does not involve Memorial Hospital is to throw away the reason for her actions, to support your idea that she is simply a murderer. The fact is that this IS about that hospital, and those hellish conditions. By everyones account she is a very compassionate individual, and individual who is clearly no murderer, and absolutely more moral and ethical than the average person. So if this person is more moral than the average, it logically follows that most people would have done the same in her position.
This doctor risked her life to save as many patients as she can, when almost no one else would, and you condemn her actions as murder and throw away the reason completely? Can you even tell me that you would have stayed behind, as she did? After waiting for days, and being told on the radio that no help would arrive, she came to a decision. It is this choice that defines her, not as a murderer, but as a compassionate individual who realized what must be done. She knew that those patients would die a horrible, horrible death. She could not simply sit and watch those patients go through days of agony until they finally died. Neither could I, had I been there, and I firmly believe that if you have any heart at all, neither could you.
What I sincerely do not understand and perhaps someone could kindly explain in gentle terms, is how we have become or are in the process of becoming a nation of individuals who in their hearts have come to understand that the killing of others under certain circumstances, is considered an act of “mercy” and “compassion.” And in writing this I am reminded of some ancient and wise words that went something like this: “And some of you they will kill and in killing you they will think they are doing a good thing.” How in the world have we come to beleive that killing a human being is a good thing? Surely an act of “mercy” and “compassion” for those who suffer and are in pain and darkness should be a reflection of our words and our actions: words of kindness, words of understanding and actions of holding hands and tears of sorrow for their suffering. Surely, that is a more compassionate response to suffering than the taking away of human lives. When I see people suffer and I see it every day, I give them hugs and I tell them how sorry I am that they must suffer these things and when I go home I cry for them in the silent privacy of my rooms. And for those who engage in the “compassionate” killing of others, what do we say to them. Should we stand in judgement and in condemnation and somehow label them as “bad’ people? Of course not. We should surely say to them those things we say to those who suffer: “I am so sorry that you too must suffer your own ordeals.” For in the end the only thing we really have are the words out of our mouths, a true reflection of a compassionate heart.
JJ: You obviously have no idea who Foti is. He is firmly entrenched as part of the Jefferson and Edwards N.O. machine. He has a history littered with hit and runs, a separate drunk driving accident that nearly killed three people (and attempting to avoid reponsibility because the cop wrote the wrong date on the booking form), suits for gender discrimination against him, leaving the scene of an accident in an unrelated incident, not to mention the blatant humiliation of three medical heroes after Katrina in an attempt to cover up for his own shameful performance.
There was a comment posted on this site on april 15, 2007 credited to me. I learned of the posting today in court through a colleague. I did not post anything on this site. Whoever did so in my name will be sued if I learn of his identity.
J. Christopher Alexander, Sr.
Criminal Defense Lawyer,
Baton Rouge, La
Amen Bill D!! Better to have someone who supports upholding the law than a young, inexperienced, questionable candidate who already has legal troubles that are “dirty” at best and promises to not uphold the law when it is applied to certain individuals. That would put Louisiana on the “bizarre” map for sure.
I agree with Johnathen. The killing of humans is never OK. Are all the liberals always so overly emotional, “outraged” and irrational? And if some of them are docs? then… YIKES!
Any alternative to one of the most pathetic political opportunists and criminals in our state’s history is relevant to the discussions on this blog. This is even more true when you consider that the targets of Foti are medical professionals whom he has used as pawns and humiliated. Foti has destroyed the lives of these brave women for political gain and to distract from his own cowardly performance during and after Katrina. Any thoughtful discussion of an alternative to a politican who persecutes medical heroes for political gain is highly appropriate for this site. Time and time again throughout his political life Foti has openly flouted the law for personal gain or to help his cronies.
(Google: “Foti Report.” It is time the medical community stopped him before all the doctors leave this great, but terribly backward state. I have no idea who this Alexander is but rest assured I am going to give him a fair look. There is no way he can be worse than the crook who is in there now.
I agree with JY – Go argue politics somewhere else. This board should not be used to promote some sleezy candidate.There are political boards just for that purpose.
In response to JY Zellner I am only trying to let concernced citizens know that there is an alternative to Mr. Foti. Royal is a good person who is outraged by the conduct of Mr. Foti. I do know his family and there are Louisiana doctors in his family who are equally outraged.
It is true Congressman Alexander’s office has been targeted by a frivolous sexual harassment suit brought by a girl who was so incompetent as a scheduler that she sent Congressman Alexander to the Louisiana capitol instead of the U.S. Capitol. It is also established that she had a picture of a pigs vagina on her cubicle wall. The lawsuit was independently investigated by an outside firm which concluded that it was the weakest case of sexual harassment it had ever seen. Her lawyer, a Mr. Hoare, is a convicted felon who has been disbarred. I understand the suit has since been dismissed. The suit was in the works for months before the most recent election (which the congressman won in a landslide)but was held until ten days before in an attempt to discredit him. Can you say “politics”? Congressman Alexander is hated by many in Washington because he became a Republican unexpectedly while running as a heavy favorite for reelection several years ago. Many hate him for that and because he has stood against frivolous lawsuits against medical providers. Many have tried for 4 years to hurt him and this politically motivated suit is no exception. As for a doctor’s wife suing Royal it is an outrageous claim that you are bound to know is false. I am saddened that you seem unconcerned that there is a viable alternative to Mr. Foti who will protect physicians instead of persecute them.
To (Hope) who so shamelfully is exploiting this site to promote Royal Alexander who is running for AG. How tacky that you use this for political gain especially for someone (Royal Alexander)who is being sued for sexual harassment and for allowing pages to be harassed and ended up getting fired from his Congressional job. Word his he grabbed some Doc’s wife and she is also suing. Why would anyone want to vote for scum like that? Shame on you for using this discussion board to promote yet another slimy politician.
Having read many of the sympathetically concerned statements regarding the Dr. Anna Pou/Memorial Hospital Case, the majority positions of support, based either on personal character assessments or assumptions regarding professional competency, are sadly but well intentionally misplaced. The truth of the matter is that injections of combined drugs in conjuction with saline where administered to chronically ill elderly patients with the intent to humanely end life. Also, the suportive statements are unaware of the single 30ml immediate-release morphine sulfate bottle which playes an important but ancillary role in this case.
The Memorial Hospital case was initiated as a result of the legal requirment of the hospital to report to state officials the information brought to their attention by hospital staff and adminitrators about cases of possible euthenasia after Katrina. Mr. Foti was required by law to follow up on this information. He and his staff spent at least a year interviewing approximately 74 individiuals before bringing charges against Anna Pou. The charges where based not just on the eye witness statments that indicated Dr. Pou, in her own words, told them she was going to administer lethal doses but on the original autopsy reports which showed high levels of morphine, including a morphine overdose test, and Versed and Ativan. Mr. Foti was doing his job. And as for Anna, this case is not about whether she is a nice or not nice person, whether she is a competent or incompetent doctor.This is a case about a doctor who told multiple eye witnesses that lethal injections where going to be administered to the remaining patients on the seventh floor. That is what this case is about.It is also about something else which I suspect most of you will never understand and that i this: this is not a story about a city called New Orleans or about a storm called Katrina or a hospital named Memorial. This is not even a story about a doctor named Anna Pou, though the media would have you beleif otherwise. This is in reality a story about broken personal boudries and the sad and sorrowful consequences that flow from the sincerely beleif that under certain circumstances the killing of human beings is considered a good thing.I am so sorry you cannot see this and as for Anna, my heart cries for her every day.
I also had the honor of having Dr. Pou as my doctor while she worked at UTMB. Over a 2 year period I had 4 operations and received excellent care. Knowing her, I cannot believe these allegations.
Please be aware that there is an alternative to Charles Foti. His name is Royal Alexander. I know his family well. There are 2 surgeons in the family. Royal is a lawyer from Shreveport who until recently was the Chief of Staff to Rodney Alexander, a U.S. Congressman from Louisiana. He left to seriously consider running for Attorney General. He comes from a huge family (12 children) Royal has raised $175,000.00 in three weeks and is determined to hold Foti fully accountable for his shameful conduct. Please consider supporting him. He will likely be formally announcing this week.
I am a criminal defense lawyer in Baton Rouge. I have tried cases in multiple parishes in the State, and whipped the Attorney General’s office soundly in a recent nationally publicized murder case in which Foti’s office had held an innocent man in jail for nearly 10 years without a trial. Anyone who is interested in the case can reviewe USAToday from Febraury 14, 2007. It took a jury 89 minutes to acquit him. This is the type of idiot you are dealing with. It is rephrehnsible that he has now destroyed the reputation and livelihood of three more innocent people without cause. it is also documented that he had a $500 a plate fundraiser in New Orleans Windsor HOtel 2 days after his national press conference on CNN calling Dr. Pou a murderer. It is absolutely time for Mr. Foti to go, and then to be fully investigated by the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Counsel, and brought to account civilly and criminally.
Friends of Dr Pou have established a web site for her @ http://www.supportdrpou.com. There is also a web site for nurses Cheri Landry and Lori Budo @ http://www.memorialnursessupportfund.com. Please help support these heroes!
Just to be crystal clear, the John above is a different John! Not me.
This is an odd situation, which I suspect will be remembered and talked about for a long time. This is clearly political grandstanding. Unfortunately, although I’m leaning Democratic these days – this has all the signs of an attempt to gain capital from Katrina.
Is the goal to find somebody to point the finger at? Is it to keep public anger about this fiasco alive until the mid term elections pass? Is it to deflect criticism from state and local officials who failed to protect New Orleans? Is it about sending a message to pro-life voters? I suspect it could be a little bit of all of the above.
The key here, I think, is that the Attorney General of the great state of Louisiana has made a serious miscalculation.
Mr. Foti, if you want to become a hero in New Orleans – I suggest you take your subpoenas to Washington.
A little over 5 years ago my family and I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Pou. You see she saved my lifel I had throat cancer and if it had not been for her caring and dedication I would not be alive today. My heart broke when I saw her on 60 ninutes,how dare they put her through this, this Attorney General must really be needing to make a name for himself. My family and I would like for her to know that she is in our thoughts and prayers. Wayne Tucker
If only they had the sense to put their efforts towards capturing the “real” criminals of this world.
This is a clear case of “Political Grandeur” for Mr. Foti. I wanted to let you know that I wrote him a letter encouraging him to back-off and prosecute the true criminals of the failed government agencies. Kris Wartelle (Public Information Director Louisiana Dept. of Justice,Attorney General Charles C. Foti, Jr. 225-326-6765 email@example.com) responded with obvious frustration due to the fact he did not respond to my letter, turfing my request over to another office, suggesting I contact them and the alleged 100 others interviewed in the case, then closing with a response to the 60min. broadcast. No response at all! Obviously they are feeling the pressure from the public and professional support for Dr.Pou, Ms. Landry, and Ms.Budo. Standing with you and keeping the pressure on!
Sincerely, Lisa RN,BSN. CT
Mr. Charles C. Foti Jr.
Kris Wartelle, Public Information Director
Ms. Julie Cullen, Director- Criminal Division
The State of Louisiana
Office of the Attorney General
1885 North 3rd St.
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
P.O. Box 94005
Baton Rouge, LA 70804
Dear Mr. Foti,
I am writing to express my outrage at your office’s decision to pursue the case of alleged euthanasia against the persons Dr. Anna Pou, Lori Budo, & Cheri Landry. Your office’s & state government’s decision to pursue such prosecution can only be described at best as deplorable.
I will not restate all the facts of the case here, but want to point out that these individuals risked their own lives for the greater good of those individuals trapped at Memorial Medical Center to HELP, and voluntarily stayed behind during incomprehensible hellish conditions for one reason…TO SAVE LIVES. Opposition to this case is immense among the general public, the media, various professional organizations, and the medical community as a whole. This is clearly the apex of right-wing anti-abortion, anti-cloning, anti-euthanasia zealotism in all its grandeur. It is my sincere hope with every fiber of my being that this prosecution backfires spectacularly, and you all will one day be faced with a similar situation, and stand in judgment for your fascist position on the matter and prosecution of whom many have come to embrace as heroes faced with a medical “hell on earth” in an utterly hopeless situation.
Your office’s press conferences border on political grandstanding, and are inflammatory to the defendants’ innocence to the point in which I am curious as to why the judge of the case has not issued a gag order to your office. To pursue such a case is folly, and parallel with a decision to pursue such legal actions for circumstances that battlefield paramedics must have faced in every military conflict. Triage ethics take precedence in situations of terminally ill patients in horrible pain from underlying ill health & injuries, untreatable by any available resources in a total system collapse during disaster conditions. No one should be left suffering for interminable hours, days or weeks until their inevitable death. It is easy for others to pass judgment on the events that transpired. I sincerely believe no one can really relate to the conditions at Memorial Medical Center after the successive storms passed. The fact that Dr. Pou and her associates remained there, taking care of patients rather than the option of being safely evacuated (with Dr. Pou’s husband) is a true reflection of the character of these individuals and their undying commitment to help others.
It is relatively clear to many of this nation and of the state in which you serve who the real culprits of this crime are; nature and government incompetence at all levels. Will you name Mother Nature as a co-conspirator as well?
What I am really interested in is your statement to the people on your pursuit of a case against those who were really responsible in those deaths and when will they be charged…that of your poorly orchestrated local, state, and federal government response to this disaster?
This is still another argument why New Orleans should not be rebuilt.
Dr. Pou, you are in our thoughts and prayers. We saw 60 Minutes, and heard YOUR SIDE of the story. The fact you were there at Memorial Hosp, and didn’t abandon patients says a lot about you. How I know you is that in June 2004 you were the surgeon that operated on my husband’s, Stewart Overton, throat. On the day of his surgery you were very professional, and what impressed both of us, is that you were caring, and took the time to answer our questions, concerns, and I was impressed that you were so caring, and did not talk down to us. You talked to us, as equals. I was diagnosed with MS that same exact month. What caught me by surprise was that you cared about me, and my problems, and I was just the wife! Stewart stayed over the night in the hospital, and you made sure that he was observed very closely. In fact, I was impressed that his room was in front of the nurses station, and if his throat swelled enough to cut off oxygen, they could see because the oxygen monitor was in the window in full view of the nurses station. This was in Galveston at U.T.M.B. The nurses that night, spoke very highly of you, by the way.
I know you did not euthanize those patients. You cared about their comfort in a very sad and difficult situation.
It is a shame that a committed, caring doctor would have to go through this.
As a wife of one of your former patients, we stand behind you all the way.
P.S. Mr. Foti should be ashamed. Where was he during Katrina!
I had heard this story when it first aired on the news and didn’t pay much attention until seeing Dr. Pou’s interview on 60 minutes. The interview was a powerful testimony to her innocence. I tried to imagine what it would be like to give up a profession that you not only love, but are gifted at. It would be like giving away a piece of your soul. I can’t imagine the wounds Dr. Pou must feel at the betrayal of this pathetic individual, Mr. Foti. He is obviously an old man who is probably at the end of his career and looking for notoriety. Silly man, he waited too long. The bottom line is that the federal, local, and state government failed the American people during Hurricane Katrina. He is part of the failure that allowed thousands of people to perish. Perhaps it is his own guilt that is driving him to lash out at noteworthy individuale who only wanted to do what the governmet could not; help. Where was he during the storm anyway? Probably hanging low with Mr. Nagin.
I can’t pretend to know Dr. Anna Pou personally. But watching that interview she struck me as someone who is very compassionate and obviously dedicated to her patients. My God, she volunteered to stay, putting her patients lives before her own. Who could falt her for that? In the unlikely event that you read this, know that my prayers are with you (for what its worth). Also, God forbid that if I ever get really sick, I hope I have a doctor just like you.
I’m a board certified anesthesiologist from Texas who has in the past had the pleasure of working with Dr. Pou for about 3 years, perhaps more. I am hard pressed to remember working with a more caring, devoted, or hard working surgeon such as she. She routinely worked 14 hour neck cancer surgeries without complaint, and always, ALWAYS, put the patients needs before her own. It as ABSOLUTELY reprehensible to codemn her doing the best that she could in that Hell on Earth. Where were all the other doctors and nurses? Where was Mr. Foti? Certainly planning his next political move. About THAT…He felt it so important to march Dr. Pou into custody in scrubs and handcuffs despite the doctor having previously stated that she would immediately turn herself in if requested. But no…he wanted the “perp walk”. Clearly a political agenda. Anyway, for him, or anyone to state that “lethal doses” of morphine and midazolam were found in the patient’s blood is absolute crap. If I were a defense attorney i’d rip that statement to shreds. Any healthcare provider knows that there is no such thing as a “lethal plasma level” of an opiate… its clearly a question of an individuals tolerance to the opiate which dictates how much is enough. I pray that this case gets dropped and that Dr. Pou can get back to her patients, whom I have no doubt miss er every day! Anna, we’re with you!!! Brian R. UTMB.
Dr. Pou may indeed be a wonderful caring individual but that observation is not only personal but has nothing to do with the charges against her all of which come from statements by her own fellow employees. According to other employes, Dr Pou along with two nurses caused the deaths of at least four patients by administering lethal doses of morhine and versed. This is the issue, not whether she is a nice person. Just remember: The road to Hell is paved with good intentions
In my 28 years as a respiratory therapist I have withnessed a number of cases where inadequately sedated “Do-not Resuscitate” patients died of airway obstruction and of fatally low oxygen levels. The horrid convulsions of patients choking on their own airway secretions or gasping for air – are burned in my memory. The choice of administering high dose morphine or leaving patients to lie in their own urine and feces in the dark without water, oxygen or medical and nursing care is obvious to anyone with a soul. It is the incompetent government officals who made no provision for the evacuation of the terminally ill – much less the healthy, who are the real murders
I worked with Anna for a number of years at UTMB in Galveston and found her to be one the most compassionate and ethical physicians that I have ever known.
Is this fund being promoted herein because it is presumed the doctor and nurses did not do what they are charged with doing, or because what they allegedly did was defensible?
Please help me know where to send monies for the Help for Dr. Anna Pou. She was my Dr. Thanks