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           Katrina's Aftermath Archives         Katrina's Aftermath [Home]
Medics held over Katrina deaths
(BBC News, 18 July 2006)
A doctor and two nurses have been arrested in the US city of New Orleans over the deaths of hospital patients after Hurricane Katrina last year. . . . The Louisiana attorney general's office said the three had been charged with murdering four patients. . . . At least 34 patients died at Memorial Medical Center, which was cut off after Katrina hit the city on 29 August. . . . Prosecutors have investigated claims of negligence and euthanasia and subpoenaed 73 staff in the inquiry. . . . Louisiana Attorney General Charles C Foti said: "This is not euthanasia. This is homicide." . . . He added: "While I am aware of the horrendous conditions that existed after Hurricane Katrina... I believe that there is no excuse for intentionally killing another living human being." . . . A lawyer for one of the accused, Dr Anna Pou, said she was innocent of the charges. . . . Patients at Memorial were stranded for four days without power after Katrina struck, before being moved to safety. . . . Tenet Healthcare Corporation, which owns Memorial, said the arrest warrants alleged that the medics "may have administered pain medication that hastened the deaths of certain patients in the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina". . . . "If proven true, these allegations are very disturbing. Euthanasia is repugnant to everything we believe as ethical healthcare providers, and it violates every precept of ethical behaviour and the law." . . . In all, more than 970 people are known to have died in Louisiana in the aftermath of Katrina, and more than 200 in neighbouring Mississippi. . . . In a separate case, two nursing home owners were charged with manslaughter last year over the deaths of dozens of people at the St Rita's home. . . . They are accused of ignoring orders to move residents out.

posted by Lorenzo 2:03 PM

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