Hospital Staff Charged With Killing Patients After Katrina - Page 32Register Today!
- Jul 24, '06 by pickledpepperRNEditorials and letters to the editor:
It seems Tenet did send five helicopters. Read this account:
Letters to the editor:
…Re: "Doctor, nurses arrested in post-Katrina patient deaths," Wednesday news story.
Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti's inflammatory statement that Dr. Anna Pou and these nurses "pretended that maybe they were God" not only contaminates a jury pool, but suggests he is a mind reader.
Those health care professionals were faced with leaving and facing charges of patient abandonment, staying and possibly dying, or easing the suffering of those left behind due to inept bureaucrats….
…Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro breaks a leg. We worry that he is suffering and might have to be put down.
A hurricane hits New Orleans and strands seriously ill patients in a hospital with no power, water or anything to ease suffering, except perhaps morphine. Doctors and nurses administer the drug and wait for help, which doesn't arrive in time. The patients die.
The vet who might put down Barbaro is lauded for his compassion. The doctor and two nurses who treat patients in New Orleans are charged with murder.
The lesson: If you don't want to suffer an agonizing death, it's better to be a horse…
- Jul 25, '06 by HuggyPugletQuote from lizzThis makes me so angry. I grew up in New Orleans and left many years ago. But, even then, there were articles in the paper talking about how the big flood was going to hit and local officials were doing nothing. Louisiana government has always been so corrupt that this was inevitable.
If they're going to prosecute doctors and nurses then they should also prosecute the corrupt government officials who put these people in this horrible situation in the first place.
How many people did we get out of Lebanon this past week? Why couldn't we have done that in New Orleans?
- Jul 25, '06 by patricelynneHello all of you wrestling w/ this tragic dilemma, as I am, too. From the first reports coming from NO hospitals I kept thinking of Florence Nightingale in the Crimea...the hugeness and seeming impossibility of what she and her little band of nurses and nuns were up against. Food for thought here, quoted of Miss N., herself, from the book "Florence Nightingale, Mystic, Visionary, Healer" by Barbara Montgomery Dossey: "I have not had a moment. The whole army is coming into the hospitals. The task will be gigantic. Alas, how will it all end? We are in the hands of God. Pray for us. We have at this moment five thousand sick and wounded. My only comfort is, God sees it, God knows it, God loves us [pg 121]...When we came here, there was neither basin, towel nor soap in the Wards, nor any means of personal cleanliness for the Wounded except the following. Thirty were bathed every night by Dr. McGrigor's orders in slipper baths, but this does not do more than include a washing once in eighty days for 2300 men. The consequences of all this are Fever, Cholera, Gangrene, Lice, Bugs, Fleas-& maybe Erisypelas-from the using of one sponge among many wounds...The fault here is, not with the Medical Officers, but in the operation of the department which affords every necessary supply except medicines to them-& in the insufficient supply of minor officers in the Purveying Department..."[pg 131]. Sounds as though some things haven't changed!
- Quote from TechieNurseBased on the previous comments, I feel like I'm in the minority.
While I admit, I don't know all the facts AND there may be mitigating circumstances, it still does not negate the fact that these professionals TOOK lives. That sounds/feels like playing G*d in my opinion.
Suffering is inherent in life. As I see it, my responsibility as a medical professional is to ease the suffering. Sometimes I can end it, sometimes I can only provide emotional support while the patient endures it.
I think it's a slippery slope to condone, or even accept what happened.
I don't think it's our duty to determine who is suffering too much and decide to end their lives. Is anyone else appalled at this?
I sympathize with the doctor/nurses, but I think they must take responsibility for their actions. Based on what I've read, I think this should go to trial, but the jury should nullify the crime.
you are not alone and i even go so far as they should be prosecuted and i dont think that they should nulify the crime. we are not dr cavorcian and we can not decide who to kill. we take an oath to protect and care for people not kill them. they did not just give them some morphine to make them comfy while they died thay gave it to kill them so THEY could get out. they essentially wanted to and did abandon those patients - it was morally wrong. as for myself if i were in that situation yes - i would die for my resients if that is what i had to do - my family knows it and they respect that - and they are proud that i would - anyone who condones what they did i pray i nevr have to be taken care of by them - who knows what they may do in the future or others may do "because they THINK its right" if these folks get away with it. hugs
- Quote from wannaBEanRNI'm watching the news conference now, but I can't help thinking that while we may know the BASICS of what happened (no food, sweltering conditions, dead/dying everywhere, no electricity or running water, etc.), we cannot even fathom what their psychological state of mind must have been. Between not knowing WHAT was going on, WHEN things would happen, HOW things would get better or they would be relieved - these men and women had been "on duty" for countless and countless hours on end. And in those conditions. Between all that, how can he say that they were playing God? Maybe, just possibly, their minds were telling them this was the BEST thing AT THAT TIME. Who knows? Not me, and certainly not him.
Until we can actually know the horrors of what was happening IN THEIR MINDS, we'll never know what they were thinking/feeling.
I just have a very hard time with all of this being called Murder. I don't believe this Atty General speaking now can know this, bases on not knowing what was in their minds. He could be right, but he could be very, very wrong.
God help them, and the families affected. This is a tragedy that came from a tragedy, and I believe our government needs to take more responsibility for their failures to the citizens of everyone affected by the hurricanes last fall.
in my opinion - it doesnt matter what was in thie rmind if the y did kill them - there is no excuse - i do not beive in insanity defense and i find it sick that it is considered acceptable to keep killers alive from the death penalty or put em in a nut house instead - murder is murder no matter what state of mind they have. period. hugs
- Quote from SMK1there needs to be a push for laws to protect medical professionals and their decisions in times of crisis. Are we really supposed to stay there and die with our patients if there is no hope of getting them all out? there needs to be a "safe harbor" law set up for disaster situations like this. Yes it is a slippery slope, but sometimes you just have to put on cleats and walk carefully.
we could also say ok - police being shot at by drug attics shoudl be able to walk away and let them be or perhaps our military should be ablet o just leave when they want just cause the walk gets rough - yes - again i say - if need be i will die to care for my residents - i will leave none behond and just leave - it is a prt of the job just as police and military take an oath so do we - if one cant take the responsiility - they sdhould not get ointo the job. hugs
- Jul 25, '06 by begallinevermind....Last edit by begalli on Jul 25, '06
- Quote from caroladybelleThe healthcare workers did not take lives. Those lives were taken by disease and by the greed of those that refused to evacuate the hospitals. And the management "that played G-d" with peoples lives.
In wartime, wounded that are so severely injured as to not be able to reasonably survive their injuries, are given doses of pain killers to ease suffering and that could hasten death. Please review some of the personal reports of healthcare workers during Pearl Harbor and other major battles. Despite the fact that many of the wounded/workers are taught to handle the stress of the intense situation and expect severe discomfort as part of their enlistment.
Yet, we expect civilians to behave more "moral" than soldiers.
Why should any terminal patient have to ENDURE suffering when there are meds available to relieve it?
The patient is dying of the disease (and/or in this case, conditions that cannot reasonably be surmounted, given the conditions). We can relieve the suffering, but that may cost the patient their life.
As a nurse in cancer care, I on occasion, face giving pain/sedation meds that may end up ending my patients' life. I have had people that used to protest at prolife rallies, pull me aside and ask me to OD their loved one that is suffering....in air conditioned rooms... clean, bathed, hydrated....in safe conditions. I refuse to "euthanize" anyone.....but I have no hesitation that if I know that someone is in pain, terminally ill and I have the meds to relieve that discomfort, to medicate them ....even if it hastens death.
Because it is the disease that kills them ...not me.
I will not ever work where they withhold pain meds from the terminally ill....because "it might kill them". Where I am only permitted to offer "emotional support" because of some fear that I will be charged with a crime from giving appropriate pain control to a patient that is dying of a disease.
These patients were dying....as surely as the 90% third degree burned soldiers in Pearl Harbor. There were not the resources to save them. The staff did what they felt was appropriate. Would you have rather they abandoned them to the conditions with no relief?
Because there was no other choice.
giving comfort care is much different than euthanizing someone and it is my undserstanding these professionals did just that euthanize them not just give them enough to copmpfrt them. thast the difference. i pray they did not euthanize them - if they did not they deserve to be rewarded and commeneded for comforting the patients however if they chose to euthanize them cause "they probably wont amke it anyhow and others need the water etc" as some have pointed out - that is wrong. and those that compare it to war where there is a desperate need to protect a whole battalion from getting killed so giving them enough to quiet them is not a good example and in no way is it even remotely the same. hugs
- Quote from techienursewell said - i just pray i am never a patient in a disaster where most of these posters are living - if i have my choice ( advance directives or not ) i would rather be lefty behind and chance a rescue or die there than someone deciding for me that i shoud die just so they can leave. hugsjust a note to chatsdale and azhiker, you mention dnr orders and advance directives.
i agree, with those tools, which outlines a patient's wishes, doing what the patient wants and has expressly stated, is not murder.
however, if you read the npr story (link is posted on page 1), the daughter of one of the patients attempted to recind the dnr order when she realized what was going to happen to her mother - to no avail. armed police removed her from her mother's side.
in my facility, if someone recinds a dnr order, it's effective immediately. family meeting to be scheduled to further discuss.
i agree that the conditions were horrendous. i feel for all the people that were there, both civilians and medical personnel.
however, i would never take it upon myself to decide who lives and who dies.
ease suffering/provide support: yes. knowingly administer lethal meds.: no.
isn't anyone concerned that so called 'mercy killings', aside from the ethical issues, severely undermine nursing credibility/integrity?
if you can't trust your nurse, who can you trust?
lastly, while i agree that there were many government failures, i strongly believe that these individuals must be held accountable for their actions. that doesn't necessarily mean that i think they're guilty or that i think they should be punished. i am not naive enough to think, for one split second, that the public has all the information about this case. or even enough information to make a guilty or not determination.
- Quote from LoriAlabamaRNIf these actions were taken on a normal day, simply because the nuruses were tired of dealing with the patients or decided it was their time, then I would be all for prosecution.
However, these actions were taken in an unprecedented disaster, where no help was forthcoming. I am praying for those nurses and doctors, I cannot even fathom being placed in a situation where I had to make those choices. I agree that as nurses we should provide an outpouring of support for our colleagues. Rather than run and try to save themselves, they bravely risked their own lives to save those they could.
If anyone is prosecuted, it should be that nurse who got in a boat and left, claiming that it was because of moral reasons. I call Bull****!!! That nurse is a coward. If they morally did not beleive in the morphine, then they could have worked with the other patients. Instead, they got in a boat and abandoned everyone. IF I were the BON I would have that nurse's license.
i do agree anyone who left and abandoned thier charges should also be charged with neglect and abandonment