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Published: Tuesday, 7/18/2006

Doctor, 2 nurses accused of giving patients lethal doses of morphine, sedatives after Katrina


NEW ORLEANS A doctor and two nurses who worked through the chaos that followed Hurricane Katrina were arrested on suspicion of murder and accused today of giving deadly drug injections to four desperately ill patients trapped in the flooded-out hospital.

We re talking about people that pretended that maybe they were God, Louisiana Attorney General Charles C. Foti said. And they made that decision.

Foti said he believed the patients would have lived through the storm s aftermath.

Dr. Anna Pou, an oncologist and an ear, nose and throat specialist, and the two nurses were accused of intentionally killing four patients ages 62 to 91 at Memorial Medical Center with a deadly combination of morphine and the sedative Versed.

They were booked on charges of being principals to second-degree murder, which carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

There may be more arrests and victims that cannot be mentioned at this time, Foti said. This case is not over yet.

In court papers state investigators said Pou told a nurse executive three days after the hurricane hit that the patients remaining at the hospital would probably not survive and that a decision had been made to administer lethal doses to them.

Overdoses of morphine, Versed or both can stop the heart and lungs.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com

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