New Orleans Doc Cleared of Murder Charges Related to Katrina Deaths

Grand jury decides not to file criminal charges.

As a side note, the doctor is suing the Atty. General.

Is there any evidence (autopsy?) that the patients had the drugs in their systems and at toxic levels? If so did these folks get off on a “technicality” because nobody could say for sure whodunnit? Or did the AG just make it up?

Given my location I may be too close to the situation, but here is what I’ve read and heard about this case:

  1. The AG seriously overplayed his hand. The autopsy reports he used to press charges were inconclusive at best, but he pressed on with the case in hopes that an eyewitness would come forward to support rumors of mercy killings at Memorial.

  2. The state medical examiner’s subsequent review of the autopsy results indicated to him that there was no way to prove conclusively how the patients died. This was due largely to the fact that the bodies were decomposed by the time the autopsies were conducted.

  3. The fact the the AG held a big campaign fundraiser shorly after arresting the doctor and the three nurses suggests to many that he wanted to get some big publicity for doing something in order to improve the turnout and donations.

  4. I know a nurse who was at Memorial and a few doctors who stayed at other hospitals. The lower floor of Memorial was flooded. There was no air conditioning, little water, limited food, and the windows were sealed shut. The plumbing failed. Temperatures climbed to around 100 degrees and higher. Doctors and nurses and family members and other hospital staff took turns fanning patients to try to provide relief from the heat.

  5. The only mercy killings I have heard of at Memorial were the result of the National Guard refusing to allow the hospital employees to take their pets with them when the hospital was finally evacuated. One anesthesiologist remained and euthanized the pets that had to be left behind.

Jesus, what an awful lack of discretion on the part of the AG. Considering the conditions of the hospital at that time and the sheer scope of Katrina, he should have held back unless there were eye witness reports of random murders.

I’m glad to hear the grand jury didn’t indict.

I’m glad they got cleared. I hope they recover in all aspects of their lives, but especially in their professional capacity.

Treating highly-trained, dedicated professionals who deal with such crises and are already in such short supply in such a ridiculous fashion ought to be a firing offense in and of itself.

Do you think that this will remind people of the Duke lacrosse team debacle? Could Foti get creamed just like Nifong did?

I quite agree with you. But, having said that, I think it is incredibly sad that some aspects of this situation will follow them for the rest of their lives.

Yes, that was the first thing that I thought of when I read this. And, see my comment above to Qadgop.

I don’t think we can fire him quickly, but he is running to keep his seat this fall. Having thoroughly pissed off the majority of the electorate in New Orleans by bringing this case forward and by trying them first in the media, and having thoroughly pissed off all the medical professionals in the state (as well as their friends and relatives), he’s now unelectable. Thankfully.

Lots of people in NOLA are peeved that the AG and the DA seem more interested in going after the doctors and police than the looters, shooters, drug thugs, and other barnacles on society. Message: staying and helping and doing your duty risks your being prosecuted when things go wrong; evacuating with you and your family looks like the better option.