By John Jalsevac
NEW ORLEANS, July 18, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A doctor and two nurses who were on duty at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina have been arrested and charged with four counts of second-degree murder.
The warrant for their arrest charges the three medical personnel with killing four patients “by administering or causing to be administered lethal doses of morphine sulphate (morphine) and midazolam (Versed),” according to Forbes.
The arrests follow months of investigation by Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti, Jr., into the suspicious deaths of numerous patients at the Medical Center. After the flood caused by Katrina, 45 bodies were recovered from the medical center, a suspiciously high number, even given the dire conditions at the center.
Rumors that patients at the Memorial Medical Center might have been murdered by medical staff surfaced shortly afterwards. Immediately media sources attempted to put the spin of “mercy killings” on the deaths, saying that with rapidly deteriorating conditions doctors were forced to end the suffering of the patients.
Dr. Bryant King, a doctor who was working at the hospital at the time, claims that a hospital administrator suggested euthanizing patients, to put them “out of their misery,” according to CNN.
In an interview with the UK’s The Mail in September, a doctor, whose name was protected by the euthanasia-supportive Daily Mail media, claimed that those who were killed were killed out of “compassion.”
“This was not murder, this was compassion,” the doctor emphasized. “They would have been dead within hours, if not days. We did not put people down. What we did was give comfort to the end.”
The doctor admitted to giving lethal injections of morphine. “If the first dose was not enough, I gave a double dose. It came down to giving people the basic human right to die with dignity.”
The report was corroborated by other witnesses, including local government officials and a hospital orderly. Emergency worker William ‘Forest’ McQueen supported the move by the doctors. “Those who had no chance of making it were given a lot of morphine and lain down in a dark place to die,” he said.
Attorney General Foti, however, disagrees that re-labelling a crime in any way justifies it. “We’re not calling this euthanasia. We’re not calling this mercy killings. This is second-degree murder,” said Kris Wartelle, a spokesperson for Foti, following the arrests of the doctor and nurses.