Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Post-Katrina deaths


The accusations of bad medical behavior following Hurricane Katrina are continuing to be played out. About a year ago, Dr. Anna Pou and two nurses were arrested be the Louisiana Attorney General and accused of murder of four patients at New Orleans' Memorial Medical Center after the storm.

According to this article from CNN.Com, the investigation continues with the above two nurses being given immunity thereby isolating the physician who has been "the main target of the investigation" according to the article.
The investigation determined that the four patients -- ages 63, 68, 91 and 93 -- were given a "lethal cocktail" of morphine and midazolam hydrochloride, both central nervous system depressants, [Lousiana Attorney General] Foti said.

None of the patients had been prescribed the drugs by their caregivers and none of the accused treated the four before the injections, Foti said. "This was not euthanasia," Foti said at a news conference last summer. "This was homicide."
This case brought a lot of headlines a year ago. I remember reading many news reports about it at the time. However, this article continues...
The case has languished since. Foti said he turned his findings over to Orleans Parish District Attorney Eddie Jordan, who by law must either file charges or reject the case.

Instead, Jordan impaneled a grand jury, and has vowed to let it decide what charges, if any, should be sought. Jordan also directed New Orleans Coroner Frank Minyard to hire outside forensic experts to review the case. But sources close to the investigation say the case has moved very slowly.
Remember after Katrina, there were lots of stories and rumors going around about what was happening down there after the storm. I remember hearing about alleged atrocities occurring at the Superdome (image credit). Months later, it was reported that these rumors were false.

Speaking of false accusations, Mike Nifong now knows the consequences of trumped up charges and running a poor investigation.

Now, don't get me wrong, I admit I don't know all the facts in the Dr. Pou case. All of my information is from the press (and you know how reliable they are). I am in no way defending what this physician is accused of doing.

However, there are a lot of politicians out there who are still using Hurricane Katrina to score political points for whatever reason. And, it's always politically popular to accuse physicians of wrong doing. It happens everyday in America.

With Louisiana investigators dragging their feet on this Dr. Poe investigation, this is making me very suspicious about the accuracy of the accusations. I have a gut feeling that this physician is being used to get someone down there re-elected.

I'll leave you with this scenario. Say, this physician is exonerated and all charges are dropped. Do you think we'll ever hear about it? Do you think that the press will report this? I think not. I think they'll move on to the next accusation of medical wrongdoing post-Katrina and talk about that....

4 comments:

Cathy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cathy said...

"None of the patients had been prescribed the drugs by their caregivers and none of the accused treated the four before the injections, Foti said."

Now that quote is saying alot. Just where were the physicians of these patients? Most likely, they were headed out of town, just like most other people, and their patients were left behind in the care of whoever it was that cared enough to stay behind. im not saying leaving town was a bad thing, in fact, it was the only thing most could do, especially if they had families to think about. but, I still don't understand why they use this against this woman?

What was she supposed to do, let them drown? Let's see, do I want to be in a relaxed state from versed and morphine or do I want to be conscience while I drown in a bed alone?

This charge against this Doc. is bogus.

Prudence said...

"And, it's always politically popular to accuse physicians of wrong doing. It happens everyday in America."

- Same here in the Philippines. It's as if every politician is rallying for patients' rights and yet nobody gives a care about physicians' rights for fair judgment and treatment. And the media always feasts on "bad hospital" and "bad doctor" news. But if there are wonderful accomplishment by doctors, the media wouldn't report it because the story wouldn't "sell" to the public. The public seem to thirst for doctors' blood.

coaster1robert said...

I I hope it's not true,that would hurt the(Good) medical community.