Battlepanda: Sisters of Mercy


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Sisters of Mercy

BATON ROUGE, La., July 18 — A doctor and two nurses have been arrested on suspicion of giving deadly drug injections to four patients at a medical center in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, the Louisiana attorney general said today.

The doctor, Anna Pou, and two nurses, Cheri Landry and Lori Budo, were arrested on Monday on four counts of principal second-degree murder, the attorney general, Charles C. Foti Jr., said at a news conference today.

The arrests were part of the culmination of an investigation into accusations that patients might have been euthanized at the Memorial Medical Center in the aftermath of the hurricane.

“This is not euthanasia,” Mr. Foti said. “This is a homicide.” Prosecutors said they would seek indictments from a grand jury.

The announcement of the arrests and the investigation recall the difficulties confronted by hospitals and nursing homes in the city after the hurricane struck and medical personnel struggled to care for their patients. At Memorial, evacuation efforts faltered, emergency generators could not support air conditioning and temperatures inside the building exceeded 100 degrees.

Mr. Foti said that the patients were injected with what he described as a “lethal cocktail” of morphine and midazolam hydrochloride that “guarantees they are going to die.”

“It is not my job or duty to say what the motive was,” Mr. Foti said.

Those of us who know more about law than I do, please help me here. From my reading of this, it seems quite obvious that the doctor and nurses are guilty of breaking the law, one of the most serious laws we have. Yet it also seems to me that they did the right thing. Can the extenuating circumstances ever be an exculpating as opposed to a merely ameliorating factor? Or are they all going to go down for the minimum sentence for four counts of second-degree murder?