Wednesday, September 27, 2006

New Orleans wrongful death case on 60 Minutes

Morley Safer interviewed Dr. Anna Pou about the case that made headlines in the Hurricane Katrina aftermath. The Attorney General (AG) for Louisiana has accused Dr. Anna Pou (ENT Oncologist/Surgeon, and Lori L. Budo and Cheri Landry (both nurses) of murdering 4 patients in a long-term acute care hospital a few days after Hurricane Katrina hit NOLA.

The 60 Minutes piece (transcript and video here) is very informative, and takes a innocent until proven guilty approach, which does not seem to be the approach of the AG. No detailed records have been released to the public, let alone the defendant's or their lawyers. The evidence presented thus far has been reports from witnesses and the medical examiner's report. Apparently they were given 'lethal' doses of a benzodiazepine (midazolam, aka Versed) and an opioid (morphine). So basically no new details but this story allows you to imagine the experience in that hospital. The nurses and the doctor seem genuinely distressed and upset over the accusations, understandably. As more info comes out about this case we will make sure to share it with the Palliative Medicine community, as it may come up in conversation in our daily work.

Here are a few blogs that comment on the issue as well:
Kevin MD
Kevin MD #2
Pallimed (old post)
NPR (02/06)
And Rightly So! (includes posts from those who trained with Dr. Pou)

Websites for Dr. Pou and the Nurses Landry and Budo

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