Murder or Treatment?
Is Dr. Anna Pou a hero or a criminal? Some physicians think Louisiana's attorney general is on shaky ground charging Dr. Pou and two nurses with murdering patients who were stuck at New Orleans' Memorial Medical Center during Hurricane Katrina.
By all accounts, Dr. Pou is a skilled and dedicated physician. She chose to stay at the hospital for days after the hurricane passed, hampered by heat, the absence of electricity, and dwindling supplies of medicine. The prosecution claims that Dr. Pou and two nurses "went from room to room with a set of syringes and vials, injecting at least four patients with a combination of drugs intended to kill those who could not easily be evacuated from the hospital."
The state's forensic pathologist found traces of both morphine and a central nervous system sedative in the tissue samples of several patients who died, drugs that they were not supposed to have in their bodies.
But what does this prove? That a doctor in desperate circumstances engaged in mercy killings, or that she used whatever drugs she had at hand to ease the suffering of patients while awaiting rescue?
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