Doctor and nurses charged over Katrina patient deaths
A doctor and two nurses have been charged with murdering four patients awaiting evacuation from a New Orleans hospital during Hurricane Katrina.
The staff have been charged with killing four patients, who have not been named, but were aged 9, 62, 67, and 90. The state prosecutor said the four were injected with lethal doses of morphine and an anti-anxiety drug on 1 September last year.
The charges against the three staff: Dr. Anna Pou and nurses Lori Budo and Cheri Landry, were brought by Louisiana's attorney general, Charles Foti, who launched an investigation into the deaths of dozens of patients at the Memorial hospital last October.
With the flooded city in chaos and thousands stranded without food and water, witnesses have described how patients at the hospital were enduring temperatures of 100 degrees (37.8 C).
Yesterday, Mr Foti said police had ruled out any suggestion the three carried out acts of euthanasia, or mercy killings. "This is not euthanasia. This is plain and simple homicide," he said.
The four had not been in immediate danger as they awaited evacuation, Mr Foti said, adding: "I think the patients would have lived"
More than 200 sick and elderly patients in nursing homes and hospitals in New Orleans and the surrounding area died in the weeks following the hurricane, which struck on 29 August.
Allegations of mercy killings and euthanasia being carried out at six hospitals and 13 nursing homes in the state are being investigated. Mr Foti said further charges could be brought, but did not provide any further details.
Lawyers for the three people charged are expected to issue a statement at some point today.
Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
World news in pictures
'Swivel-gate': David Cameron goes to war with the press over 'swivel-eyed loons' slur
Revealed: Eerie new images show forgotten French apartment that was abandoned at the outbreak of World War II and left untouched for 70 years
- 1 Heading for America? Prepare for the longest US immigration queues ever
- 2 Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
- 3 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 4 'Swivel-gate': David Cameron goes to war with the press over 'swivel-eyed loons' slur
- 5 It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
£28000 - £31500 per annum + benefits: Randstad Education Newcastle: Permanent ...
£50000 - £58000 per annum + Benefits and Bonus: Progressive Recruitment: SAP F...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + BENS: Progressive Recruitment: Drupal Developer A ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + bens: Progressive Recruitment: C# WEB DEVELOPER Le...