Dr. Anna Pou, Hurricane Katrina, and euthanasia

Due to intense interest in the Anna Pou story, the following post will be republished to stay current.

Original post date: 7/18/2006

Some more details are emerging from this desperate time.

NOLA.com:

Dr. Anna Pou, an ear, nose and throat specialist, and nurses Lori L. Budo and Cheri Landry were each booked with four counts of second-degree murder.

“We feel they abused their rights as medical professionals,” Foti said. “We’Â’re talking about people that were maybe pretending they were God. They made that decision. We did not take this case lightly.” . . .

. . . Foti said some of the Memorial patients had a DNR, or a “Do Not Resuscitate” order, the pact between patient and doctor that no heroic measures be made by medical staff to save the patient’Â’s life.

But a DNR is not a defense in this case, Foti said.

None of the four patients were receiving either morphine, the powerful painkiller, or Versed, the brand name for the central nervous system depressant called midazolam hydrochloride, as treatment while at Memorial Medical Center, said Foti . . .

. . . Foti had Pou arrested in her home, while she was still dressed in her medical scrubs, despite the fact that she had agreed to turn herself in weeks ago if an arrest warrant were issued, Pou’Â’s attorney Rick Simmons said.

Gulf Coast Support:

In the aftermath of the Katrina crisis, Dr Pou told a Louisiana television station some patients were under “do not resuscitate” orders made prior to the hurricane. “In other words … to allow them to die naturally and not to use any heroic methods to resuscitate them,” she said. “We all did everything in our power to give the best treatment we could to the patients in the hospital, to make them comfortable.”

The investigation into deaths at the hospital gathered pace in October 2005 when Bryant King, a doctor working there during the hurricane, told CNN he had heard another doctor talk of putting patients “out of their misery”. He had seen Dr Pou holding a handful of syringes later that day, he said.

But in a statement at the time Dr Pou’s lawyer, Rick Simmons, painted a picture of medical staff working “tirelessly for five days to save and evacuate patients, none of whom were abandoned”.

Polimom:

Polimom’Â’s finding it very hard to condemn the actions of the folks who were in that hospital. Even if these health care professionals did what they’Â’re accused of, the chaos and despair in the days following the storm were, I believe, impossible to judge from anyone watching from outside.

Update -
Pallimed:

That said, I’m quite concerned the media coverage of the charges and the public discussion of what happened is going to spill over onto ‘regular’ end of life care and be full of misrepresentations, half-truths, and gloriously inaccurate and damaging portrayals of end of life symptom management, comfort care, etc. being life- shortening care, and somehow dangerous and ethically suspect.

The Doctor Is In:

What struck me the most, at the time I first posted it, was the vehemence of some commenters about how ridiculous this report was. One suspects there will be no humble pie eaten by those who sarcastically castigated me for posting on such obviously fictitious urban legends.

But sometimes the truth can be more frightening than fiction.

Update 7/22 -
This post is getting a significant amount of hits from Google. Check back frequently as I will be updating with continuing opinion on Dr. Pou. Already, former colleagues have voiced their support in the comments section, as well as in various blogs.

Those wishing to contribute to the defense of Dr. Pou may send a check made out to the “Anna Pou MD Defense Fund” and mail to:

Dr. Daniel Nuss, MD
Professor and Chairman
LSU Dept. Of Otolaryngology
533 Bolivar St, 5th Floor ENT Suite
New Orleans, LA 70112

Associated Press:

“We have people who are volunteering their services and putting their lives on the line. It’s going to make it less likely they’ll do that in the future,” said Dr. Peter deBlieux, an emergency room and intensive care doctor who stayed at Charity Hospital during Katrina.

DeBoisblanc said it’s also likely to make doctors less eager to return as the city tries to recover from the hurricane.

“If you think that going after physicians and nurses while hardened criminals are ruling this town, if you think that’s an image that’s going to bring people back, you’ve got to be kidding yourself,” he said, noting the recent rash of violent crime in New Orleans.

LA Times:

Some doctors saw the accusations leveled by Louisiana Atty. Gen. Charles C. Foti Jr. on Tuesday as brash, misguided moves that permanently smeared the reputation of three respected colleagues.

Others were disgusted that suspicion was being heaped on a small cadre of healthcare workers who stayed, at great personal risk, to tend to the sick “” and in conditions that most American doctors have experienced only in wartime.

“This is vilifying the heroes,” said Dr. Daniel Nuss, who supervises the accused doctor, Anna Pou, at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. “I think it’s presumptuous for the attorney general or anyone else to try to assign blame for what happened under such desperate circumstances.”

Galveston County Daily News – Letter to the editor:

I worked with Dr. Pou for more than four years at the University of Texas Medical Branch in the operating room and she was my doctor when I needed surgery.

She is a compassionate lady and has a wonderful bedside manner. After long hours in the operating room, she was always grateful for our work.

I can only imagine what transpired in the midst of Hurricane Katrina and what she and the other nurses were faced with.

Playing God, nah. She, in my opinion, was a patient advocate who helped these do-not-resuscitate patients through a cruel, miserable death that awaited them.

World Socialist Web Site:

Dr. Steven Miles, a professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota’s bioethics center, told the Associated Press that rather than trying to kill, it is more likely that the three women were trying to relieve patients’ pain “in a resource-poor environment and were doing the best they could.”

Miles told the AP that there are cases on record where patients have required apparently fatal morphine doses to relieve extreme pain; he doubts the charges will be proven. “I’m inclined to believe this was palliative sedation that’s been misread,” he said. Mercy killings would be “not only highly frowned upon, but also rare. It’s highly unlikely that’s what happened here.”

People Get Ready with a blog roundup.

Dr. Mary Johnson:

Dr. Anna Pou was abandoned to a medical hell on earth. I wonder where the Louisiana Attorney General was during that time? Some air-conditioned command center?

There’s little doubt that Anna Pou will be talking to her Medical Board (and it’s a Board that has a reputation for being harsh to the ladies). She cannot practice while charges are pending. No money will be coming in to pay for her defense, or fend off the sharks in the water.

Meanwhile, the general public remains completely in the dark about what is really going down in medicine. After all, it happens in the dark.

And who cares about one “rich” doctor?

Tom Kirkendall:

In short, Dr. Pou is no murderer. This prosecution has all the earmarks of yet another lynch mob that is more interested in myths than reality, so watch it closely.

J, Thomas, M.D.:

I trained under Dr. Anna Pou when she was a teaching professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, TX. I can attest to Dr. Pou’s dedication to her patients, concern for the poor and indigent, and devotion to her profession. She is not only a very skilled Head and Neck Surgeon/Oncologist, but also a person who has a desire to help mankind.

It does not surprise me that she altruistically volunteered to help during the devastating Katrina catastrophe. It is difficult for me to imagine the events that took place- no electricity, limited resources, flooding, mayhem, looting, and gunshots on the streets with critically ill patients to take care of. It is easy for us bystanders to judge the events that transpired. The facts are that us others fled (FEMA, government officials including the mayor, New Orleans Police, and other medical professionals); Dr. Pou and those brave nurses stayed and were tested like none of us have been before. I don’t know if political or entertainment value are the factors that brought these brave soldiers to trial. Be it what it may, I’m sure Dr. Pou and the nurses will be found to be one of the great heroes of this extremely tragic tale. I would hope we the people would bring the federal, state, and local government to trial for placing us on trial.

Update 7/24 -
Sui Generis:

Chaos reigned supreme in New Orleans. And, help was nowhere to be found. This was not business as usual on the ICU unit. It was hell on earth. It was the equivalent of conditions in a war zone. And, absent absolute depraved indifference to human life, medical judgments made under those conditions should not be second guessed. And, those making the decisions certainly should not be prosecuted for murder and facing a life sentence.

It’s disgraceful–as disgraceful as our government’s response, or lack thereof, to Katrina.

YatPundit:

It’s hard to figure out what’s going on with Foti in this case. As Criminal Sheriff, he’s never been directly involved in pro-life issues, so his opinions on these haven’t been all that visible. There’s more to this than meets the eye, to be sure, but it’s so difficult to see what. The religious forces in the state will want to characterize any euthanasia case as homicide to shut down any legitimization of the concept. Then there’s the business of health care. Memorial’s pending sale to Ochsner Healthcare might be moving management to throw the doc and these two nurses under a bus.

It’s disappointing to read an article such as this, because it indicates how little the truth can have to do with a criminal case in our judicial system.

Houston Chronicle:

In contrast, Foti’s arrest of Pou and the two nurses is abnormal and ethically flawed. Foti announced his office had filed charges of second degree murder, but he was mistaken. As in Texas, the Louisiana attorney general has no authority to bring criminal charges. That’s the job of the district attorney.

“Foti accomplished nothing,” said Timothy Meche, a New Orleans defense attorney. “In order to bring criminal charges, the district attorney has to present the case to a grand jury, which most people here think won’t indict.”

Actually, Foti’s theater, factual errors and legal overreaching have done a lot. They slashed the reputations of three caregivers who, up to now, have been distinguished only by their outstanding dedication.

Long after their case concludes, the memory of Foti’s witch hunt will linger. Across the country, caregivers are watching. Could they, too, be so casually accused and smeared for giving aid during disaster? Maybe, some of these doctors will conclude, compassion and duty are not worth the risk.

Update 7/25 -
Bitch Ph.D.:

I wonder what the families of the dead people think of this. And I want to know when the people who were really responsible for those deaths will be charged.

(via PharmaGossip)

Strange Justice:

Murder charges could bring sentences of life in prison, but dangers also include difficulty with careers and civil suits. “The amount of volunteers is going to be drastically reduced if there is another hurricane because they are not going to take the chance,” medical equipment salesman Ray Landry said, citing chats with doctors.

Louisiana State University, where Pou is an associate professor and which has a major medical complex, has fielded many similar complaints, spokesman Charles Zewe said. “We hadn’t expected the doctors and nurses to say, ‘Next time around, we may not be there,”‘ he said.

TIME.com:

I am surprised that the attorney general would rely on post-mortem drug levels to determine whether these drugs were administered in proper dosages. The drug levels in the patients – whatever they may be – mean nothing. Some patients receive very, very high doses of the medications with minimal effects, while other patients are very sensitive and require very little. The idea that you can check a drug level and determine intent is absurd.

We don’t know the whole story from all participants, including Dr. Pou and the nurses: what the conditions were like and what their intentions were. Until all the facts are known, it’s wrong for the attorney general to act as if he’s dealing with hardened criminals. He may very well be dealing with heroes.

(via Waking Up Costs)

Update 7/28 -
Michael C. Hebert:

When a diver plunges to the bottom of an ocean full of fish and only comes up with three guppies, it makes one wonder. There were a dozen hospitals operating in New Orleans during Katrina, and 34 people died at Memorial. Dozens more died in other facilities. Out of all those deaths, and all those hospitals, it perplexes that a 10-month investigation could only come up with 1 doctor, 2 nurses, and 4 patients. Were the rumors totally overblown? Or was there a widespread problem, and is what we have just a trio of scapegoats?

It is possible that in all those hospitals with all those doctors and patients only three exhibited suspicious behavior, but it gives pause to anyone with common sense. We are supposed to think that all the rest of those deaths are on the up and up. That there is no moral difference between a patient euthanized and one abandoned. That someone who stayed behind to care for patients for 5 days in 110 degree heat, with no electricity and no drugs besides morphine, is morally indistinguishable from Jeffrey Dahmer. That no one else bears any responsibility for what happened. Just these three villains.

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  • Anonymous

    Break the law, get convicted, go to jail. If Dr. Pou feels the need to put “people out of their misery” there are a number of states looking for providers to assist (legally) in the lethal injection process.

  • Anonymous

    Where you there?

    from a USATODAY article:

    “The hospital had lost power days before. Evacuations had been slow and sporadic. Looters prowled the neighborhood. Supplies at the facility, in the Uptown neighborhood, were running low.”

    Someone is still presumed innocent
    until convicted aren’t they?

  • Anonymous

    In a court of law. As far as the court of public opinion goes…

  • Anonymous

    This public’s opinion is that I wasn’t there.

    I’ve logged a lot of hours beside a PICU bed and know the special kind of hell that can be. But I can barely imagine how much worse it was with no electricity to power the vents, suctions and pumps, rising temps, no air cirulation, no refrigeration to preserve meds, little water, no food, and gun-packing looters a few floors down.

    I know the helpless feeling when disease is triumphing over everything we have. I can barely imagine the feeling when there is nothing in the armamentarium.

    I wasn’t there.

  • Anonymous

    Taking the scenario that you have described as an underlying hypothetical… would it be acceptable to euthanize your patients?

  • Anonymous

    I suppose Dr. Pou could’ve taken the easy way out and just let the dying folks suffer until they did, ultimately and miserably…die. One lesson learned about the nature of American Medicine–don’t stick your neck out for what you believe is the right thing to do, because it will get you burned by public opinion (or the law). Why do you think so many doctors are reticent to prescribe adequate doses of painkillers for folks? It may be the right thing to do, but someday that empathetic physician will be arrested by the DEA and his or her life will be destroyed in the media.

  • Anonymous

    Morality does not infer legality. I doubt that she will be convicted, not insomuch secondary to the doctor card when dealing with lay juries, but because her defense attornies will present her actions as being morally justifiable.

  • Anonymous

    From a physician in New York-

    I doubt any of us can appreciate how dire the situation was at the hospital she was in- very sick patients, lack of power, supplies, food, the unknown possible war zone outside. The fact that this physician stayed to work for days on end rather than evacuated is a testament to her dedication. How she assessed suffering, how she made decisions needs to be evaluated- but not primarily in the context of a murder trial.

    The responsibility of a physician is to comfort as well as treat. Were people in pain? Were they suffering? Did they want help? Pain control is an appropriate treatment; the question here is one of intent.

    Our society, fortunately, rarely has to triage the ‘salvagable’ from ‘not salvagable’ outside of mass casualty situations. Unfortunately the staff in New Orleans most likely had to choose- who to give the last doses of antibiotics, fluids, staff time.

    Before judging her actions, it’s important to recognize that this situation is almost never encountered in modern-day medicine, and can’t be treated the same as working day-to-day in a fully staffed hospital.

  • Anonymous

    I am a nurse who works in the intensive care unit setting. My husband(an anesthesiologist) and I were talking last night about this and he asked so how long does the battery on a ventilator last? I said I do not know. The thought of having to titrate drips by hand is very scary let alone having to ventilate them. Ventilating patients is hard enough for a transport let alone indefinitely. As stated above the question is intent. Did Dr Pou, Lori Budo and Cheri Landry nurses intentially euthanize the patients or did they adminster morphine and versed to provide comfort. What about the medical staff that left the hospital? Are they being prosecuted for abandonment? What does a medical staff do if faced with a similar situation again? My last question is, where were the administrators?
    I hope that the medical communities across this nation step up in support of Dr. Pou, Lori Budo and Cheri Landry.

  • Anonymous

    Does anyone actually think that Dr Pou put patients out of their misery as some type of power trip or killing spree? That she derived some feeling of playing God from letting them die? As a physician, I can say that there is no feeling closer to “playing God” than doing something to make a patient live, not die. Especially for surgeons-we spend our lives doing things that lay people could interpret as “playing God”. It must have been a very difficult decision that she had to make, and I dont think that the DA obviously trying to make a name and career for himself here can begin to understand the position of a surgeon in this case.

  • Anonymous

    Well, considering no one knows any more than the most basic facts, and not even the names of the people alleged to have died, who can say what Dr. Pou or the AG thinks?

    “One lesson learned about the nature of American Medicine–don’t stick your neck out for what you believe is the right thing to do, because it will get you burned by public opinion (or the law).”

    Whether Dr. Pou believes her actions are right or not doesn’t matter if she violates the law.

  • Anonymous

    I was in the same class with Anna Pou in high school. Many years have passed and our lives have divergenced as we have pursued our separate life and career paths. Yet, I sincerely think that as people learn more about her–her background, family, beliefs, capabilities, and achievements–the idea that she would abandon medical ethics or act without concern for her patients will become increasingly unbelievable.

  • Anonymous

    From an architect in New York…
    I was in the same class with Anna Pou in high school. Many years have passed and our lives have divergenced as we have pursued our separate life and career paths. Yet, I sincerely think that as people learn more about her–her background, family, beliefs, capabilities, and achievements–the idea that she would abandon medical ethics or act without concern for her patients will become increasingly unbelievable.

  • Anonymous

    It is sad that we as a nation are finding fault in the few that did their best and stayed as heros refusing to leave like all the other cowards, we expect doctors to have all the answers and if they do not we sue them and forget they are just people trying to do the right thing. I am not a doctor but as a human being if I had the opportunity to stop someones misery or have watch them drown or slowly die in pain, I would have done all in my power to prevent this. These people did exactly that, everyone else ran they stayed and did the best they could in an impossible situation, how dare anyone damn then to the level of a murderer!

  • Anonymous

    I am sure fuckface foti wasn’t even in NOLA when Katrina hit. He was long gone…the coward.

  • Anonymous

    I am in full support of Dr.Pou. She did what was medically, ethically and morally correct.

    If she broke the law, she should be absolved of any wrongdoing.

    The conditions at that place, at that time warranted unusual deeds.

    To me, she is a hero. She risked everthing to do the right thing

  • Anonymous

    if they’re going to charge 3 (in my opinion) heroes with murder, they ought to charge the head of FEMA and the gov of louisiana with multiple counts of murder for everyone they “euthanized” in the superdome.

  • Anonymous

    It is outrageous that Dr. Pou and the nurses were charged. In any disaster, triage decisions have to be made – not everyone can survive. Resources have to be used for the most viable lives – harsh sounding but true. The alternative to sedating those patients who could not be evacuated would have been to leave the alone to suffer fear and pain as they died, which was the inevitable outcome.

    God bless Dr. Pou for her courage in providing humane care to these patients.

  • Anonymous

    I am a surgeon, a father, a husband and a member of the human race.I can only praise Dr.Pou for her efforts. She should be commended in the highest way for putting herself in harms way, to help her patients.It is unclear now what political motivation is driving the AG, but I am sure he is up for reelection!
    I would like to financially contribute to Dr.Puo’s legal expence, Can someone outthere get a fund going.

  • Dr. Bruce L. Thiessen

    This just goes to show how catastrophies tend to bring out the best and (ostensibly in this case) the worst in people. Those who revealed their dark side during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina turned New Orleans into:

    Blue Orleans
    by U.S.eh?
    words and music by Dr. BLT & Darryl Ens
    http://www.drblt.net/music/BlueOreans2.mp3

    Dr. Bruce L. Thiessen
    aka Dr. BLT
    The World’s First Blog n Roll Artist

  • Anonymous

    I knew Anna Pou as a resident M. D. in Pittsburgh Pa.I find it very hard to believe she would intentionally kill pts.Everyone likes to point the finger the other way.Where was that pompous Attorney General in the days post Katrina?Shame on him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    So foti, wher are your indictments of the head of FEMA (you did good job brownie), the LA govenor, and the NOLA mayor. Go after the REAL people responsible. But since you a COWARD you won’t

  • Anonymous

    Dr. Pou’s legal defense fund is in the works. Rick Simmons, Esq

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for all the kind words of support for Dr. Pou and Nurses Budo and Landry. The most important thing is to ensure a fair trial in a court of law, not public opinion. “Facts” presented by those seeking political office and not by officers of the court should remain suspect until proven otherwise.

    Those wishing to contribute to the defense of Dr. Pou may send a check made out to the “Anna Pou MD Defense Fund” and mail to:

    Dr. Daniel Nuss, MD
    Professor and Chairman
    LSU Dept. Of Otolaryngology
    533 Bolivar St, 5th Floor ENT Suite
    New Orleans, LA 70112

    Again, thanks for your support.

  • drdeb

    I am a ear, nose and throat doctor that Dr. Pou trained at the University of Texas Medical Branch. I also consider her a great friend. Thank you all for supporting her on this web site. I spoke to her on Tuesday and she said that this kind of support is what keeps her going. Her family is setting up a website for her. I’ll get back to you with address!

  • Richard

    So, how many government officials are being tried for derelection of duty to prepare for the disaster? Are military doctors who do triage guilty of murdering those who do not survive? New Orleans did you get your values from the French who did not fight the Germans in WW II. But after the Americans had liberated Paris sought relief from their moral turpitude by attacking women who were supposedly prostitutes for the Germans? Thank you Your Excellency, Attorney General Foti when I am beyond medical help, I want only the drugs to keep me comfortable. And, Lousiana, you get what deserve you dispicable people.
    Richard

  • Anonymous

    Foti ou Petain? Mon Dieu le couard

  • adriapou@hotmail.com

    I am a first cousin of Dr. Anna Pou. Her father was a cardiologist and professor at Tulane University and he and his wife were exemplary parents. I am sure that she, as a physician and under the awful circumstances, acted ethically and these charges will be dismissed. Anna, we in California, are with you.
    Adria Pou Chizmar

  • Anonymous

    How do you administer critical medications when you cannot check labs? How do you treat kidney failure without a working dialysis machine? How do you hand ventilate a ward of critically ill vent dependant patients for four hours let alone four days? I can only imagine what challenges faced the staff at Memorial Hospital. Has any medical staff who was actually there spoken publicly about their exerience in the days after the hurricaine other than Dr. Bryant King?

  • Anonymous

    And were was Dr. Bryant King in the end? From what I’ve read, he was one of the one’s who up and hightailed it out of there when he could! His comment just after these allegations came to light last Fall about how what looked most suspicious was that “doctors don’t give injections, nurses do”. What a load of crap! What did he want her to do? Sit down at a nonfunctional computer and enter an order so that the nonexistent pharmacy at that point could deliver the meds up to them?! They probably had to break into the machine where all the meds are locked up because when the electricity and generators go out there is no other way to get them. That’s probably why she, with the nurses, had to go ahead and draw up standard adult doses of morphine(5-15mg) and Versed(1-5mg)and walk around with them as they were comforting these patients. These medications are used for palliation. There are alot easier drugs out there to kill a patient quickly and possibly not be able to trace as easily if murder was their intention. It’s obvious to me that these heroes were providing compassionate care in the most dreadful conditions. Dr. Bryant King, a “contract physician” which usually means he doesn’t have a steady, regular job and probably can’t make it in private practice, just wanted his 15 minutes of fame.

  • Anonymous

    I am a physcian also in support of Dr Anna Pou. I have worked with her during my residency at UTMB and feel she is a tremendous advocate for the patient. In medicine, particularly Head and Neck surgery, you see a lot of illness that is not curable. Dr Pou always fought for that reasonable chance, even if small. I hope this case ends quickly so that New Orleans can once again have the care of a skilfull and compassionate surgeon.

  • Anonymous

    It’s time to reopen the cases of deaths at orleans parish prison that Foti ran for many years and to reopen his hit and run that destroyed many cars in his neighborhood years ago becaues he was drunk and tried to cover it up. There is only one person who walked on water and unless Foti name is Jesus you have just committed political sucide.How come he didnot go after the ones on top of Charity hospital for leaving on helicopters before the patients were on first? SicofN.O.

  • css

    As a Vietnam Veteran and a Cardiologist for 30 years, I strongly support the heroics of Dr Pou. We, as physicians, make life and death decisions every day. If a patient is suffering and cannot be saved, our goal is to ease their suffering the best we can. She was practicing in battlefield conditions and her actions need to be viewed as such. The AG is trying to grandstand. If he is interested in finding the the real cause of death in NOLA he need look no further than the mayor, governor, FEMA and President.

  • Dr.P

    I am a hospitlist in KC. I am floored by these charges. Even if high doses of palliative meds were used, there are multiple possible reasons, all discussed in other postings.

    The thing most people have not addressed was the nutrition and sleep status of the caregivers. Might we all make questionable judgments if we were hungry, dehydrated and sleep deprived? Would we be able to remember every detail when asked about it later and be able to justify those decisions when interrogated? Would we be charting in detail to document the thought processes behind our decisions? People who weren’t there cannot judge those who were.

    These women are heroes to stay and care for these patients. The fact that an ENT was doing the critical care means that there were very few other doctors available.

    I will support the defense fund for Dr. Pou. Is there a fund for the nurses?

    Thank you to all the medical people who stayed behind to care for those poor souls who had the bad luck to be ill during such an ordeal.

  • Anonymous

    I am a practicing oncologist. We give patients morphine and ativan on a daily basis to ease patients pain and suffering prior to death. How anyone can accuse Dr. Pou and these nurses of murder is outrageous. She needs a purple heart. I wasn’t there, but I know Dr. Pou and I am certain she did everthing in her power to make these last hours of life as comfortable as possible. The AG needs to be thrown out of office for bringing the case before the courts. This action could lead to a horrible set back in palliative care. We all need to support these heroes in any way that we can. Mr Foti, resign and do New Orleans a favor.

  • Anonymous

    It is inconsistent that a talented head/neck surgeon would remain to serve during a disaster only kill people “because it was easier.”

    EASIER??? this comment came from a family of one of the alleged victims.

    Furthermore, why has no one found fault with the disgraceful behavior of Dr. Bryant King. If he thought that inappropriate or unethical decisions/care were being discussed and delivered, he had a responsibility to remain and prevent it. He hops a boat, leaves and then reports on CNN how things happened that shouldn’t have!!! If he was thinking so clearly, why didn’t he stay and help push E.E the 380 lb paralyzed pt out the 3ft hole and up the narrow ramp on the rooftop to a helicopter?

    The doctors, nurses and support staff should NEVER have been placed in the position to make such a horrible call. THE ULtimate murderers are TENET administrators and their corporate thieves. There have been too many close calls prior to Katrina. George, Ivan; To be sure, it is INEXCUSABLE that critical patients were not evacuated.

    Please do not begin to apply everyday ethical standards upon this horrific situation.

  • Anonymous

    I wasn’t there either. But Hmm, let’s see, What would you do when your own Federal Government turns their back on you and leaves you to your own devices to save yourself or die in the middle of a deadly major category hurricane? Does anyone have a handbook on that specific situation? If anyone should be going to trial is our own government and all persons that were responsible for the safety evacuation plans and emergency management of any area that is about to be hit by any natural disaster that may cause major loss of life. If they had done their job competently a lot of people would not have lost their life in this terrible hurricane; and these dedicated, highly competent and compassionate Medical Personnel that were left with no resources whatsoever would not have been faced with the dilemma of having to see someone suffer in pain for days, until they finally die on their own a slow, painful, miserable death or ease their pain and relieve them of their torture.

  • Anonymous

    Okay, the hospital and situation was beyond miserable, beyond the burden any doctor, patient or human should endure. Do you think it is much different in many third world countries? After the Tsunami’s struck in Asia- were Doctors “putting people out of their misery” because they didn’t want to see them suffer? Should American soldiers “put people out of their misery in the Middle East because they don’t want them to suffer? Who knows if some of these patients may have lived or would have died. The Docs probably had a good idea of their fate. But nothing- not the Federal or State government, the ethics of their profession, or the misery of the situation gives them permission to make a decision to end a human life “because they don’t want them to suffer.” And Doctors are not above others in life and death decisions… empathize with the paramedic who has a good idea that all their efforts will not save the car accident victim, yet does everything in their power to help them and comofort them… so much more. The emotion, toll and misery of the “moment” is the most likely explanation in this case. I empathize with those charged, but miserable or not- if the charges are accurate, they have broken the law.

  • Anonymous

    Having lived in NOLA for many years I know the Summers can be unbearable. I can’t imagine the Hell that it must have been in the heat, humidity, flooding, no power etc. The Very sick that needed relief from suffering beyond imagination were given it. These Medical Professionals should be given our thanks for staying and being there for these people who would probably have never made it out of the sweltering building alive anyway. Healthy people in larger numbers than have been reported died from the conditions. If anyone is Guilty of Murder it is Bush and his ” administration” I’m in Atl and I KNEW 4 days before it hit what was about to happen just by watching TV. So where was the rescue when they should have been there. Fish Rots from the head down, Arrest bush for intentional murder, not these dedicated Medical professionals.

  • Anonymous

    “All the facts have yet to be presented, but as a practicing neurologist, I find it unlikely that the facts will lead the great majority of healthcare providers to agree with the charge of Murder.”

    That’s because the great majority of healthcare providers don’t need facts to close ranks.

  • DebRN

    NOT dispensing Morphine and Versed in these conditions would have been inhumane. I am sure they would NOT have used their limited supply of pain and anxiety relieving medications to put these patients out of their misery. As a previous blogger wrote there are many drugs that could have been used for euthanasia. If I had been there you would have found the same drugs in my patients, not because of an intent to kill but the intent to relieve sufffering. I have worked in a hospital for 48 hours straight during a hurricane in Houston because my co-workers couldn’t get to the hospital. I would think twice about it next time.

  • Anonymous

    Is there a defense fund for these humanitarians? I would like to donate to it. All of these three people should be commended for not abandoning their patients and doing the best they could for them. It seems to me that it is Foti who is playing God (the liar). Dr Bryant King runs away and squeals. Hmm…let’s see: the guy who abandons the patients is okay but the dedicated ones who stay behind and do the dirty work are criminals. What’s wrong with this picture? I wonder, what were they supposed to do, let their patients suffer and die in misery?

  • Anonymous

    So, let me see…If I am a healthcare provider and I know of an impending crisis, i.e. hurricane, flu epidemic, then the best thing for me is to leave with the rest of my family instead of staying behind for my patients (with no supplies, electricity, food, etc.) because I might get sued, or worse yet, jailed (because I am held to standards in a normal situation).

  • Anonymous

    The evidence might show that the best thing is not to kill people without their consent or that of their guardian.

    You know, since we’re all making assumptions without any knowledge of the facts, my advice could be just as pertinent as yours!

  • Anonymous

    “I wonder, what were they supposed to do, let their patients suffer and die in misery?”

    Who are you to decide whether or not my misery is enough for you to put me out of it without my consent or permission?

  • Anonymous

    Those patients should be grateful that someone stayed at all to help them. What if every doctor and nurse had evacuated at their first chance? They would have been well within their rights to do so. Nothing was forcing them to stay and volunteer their help. Rather than four deaths we’d be reading about the hundreds or thousands of hospitalized patients who died in the aftermath because there were simply no doctors left in the hospital. Next time disaster strikes you can bet more doctors and nurses will think long and hard about whether it is really worth it for them to stay or to get themselves and their families out of harm’s way.

  • Anonymous

    Dr King said he heard Dr Pou say that she was going to “put them out of their misery” Morphine relieves misery by relieving pain. Dr Pou relieved pain which is her legal responsibility. The fact that these patients died was a result of horrific conditions, and not from Dr Pou relieving their pain. Just my thoughts, as a compassionate citizen, and Katrina survivor. Ruth

  • Anonymous

    Dr.Pou is deserving of the love and kind treatment she has given to her patients ..please let her know our prayers are with her.She cared for my Mother in Galveston for many years and went out of her way to show compassion to Mom, whom she did surgery 100 times to stop a condition that had no known treatment, but Dr.Pou continued to treat her lovingly and was always there for us….that is the kind of woman, Doctor and professional she is…we remember her with much love.

  • Anonymous

    ” Dr Pou relieved pain which is her legal responsibility. The fact that these patients died was a result of horrific conditions, and not from Dr Pou relieving their pain.”

    That is incorrect that it is her legal duty to relieve pain. And given that we have no idea how these patients died, your statement is premature, at best.

  • Don(EDRN)

    This case highlights a larger issue around emergency management in health care. What procedures or policies were in place that guided staff during the hurricane? Clearly the circumstances meant there was already an altered standard of care. What other decisions did the staff have to make without the benefit of equipment, tests, resources, etc, that may have resulted in harm to the patients? Do we now punish all the health care staff who stayed behind & treated patients without the “right” information or processes?

    These 3 women demonstrated their commitment to thier patients, they stayed behind, they endured those conditions. Why would they suddenly decide (en masse) to murder some of these patients? What would WE do in that situation?

    This case has significant ramifications for the American health system. In the event of a disaster, health care providers must absent themselves from assisting the general public or fear to lose everything. This case will demonstrate to health care providers exactly how much thier belief & compassion can hurt them.

    The most important point has been raised in a number of other posts. What, if any, reponsibility do others play here. What of the other hospital staff who abandoned thier jobs? Can we blame them for protecting themselves and thier families? With these charges society seems to indicate that hospital staff are held to a much higher standard than anyone else. What about the agencies tasked with Emergency Management, should they sit in the dock. These 4 patients were not the only ones to die in this tragedy. Finally what are the consequences for the hospital administrators and thier companies, who had no plans or resources to support staff in this type of situation? How much responsibility do they bear not only for these 4 deaths but others within that health facility that occured because of the conditions.

    This case should not be about euthanasia or murder. We should have an open discussion on the conditions and circumstances these women faced, the decisions they made and thier reflections on their experience. There should be a public discussion on health care in a disaster zone. If the public feel that this should not have happened then we need to legislate & fund Emergency Management planning, education and training for hospitals & staff.

  • Anonymous

    “That is incorrect that it is her legal duty to relieve pain.”

    So an inaction that causes undue pain and suffering is OK with you ???

    “And given that we have no idea how these patients died,”

    How much worse would their death have been without the care and comfort provided by these Women ??

    “your statement is
    premature, at best.”

    Your statements sound as if they are coming from a FAT Trial Lawer…!!!

  • Anonymous

    I’m an oncology nurse who has particiapted in numerous cases of “terminal sedation”. No one in health care takes these situations lightly. It is an incredible burden to dial up the morphine and ativan in patients when all treatment options have been exhausted, but we accept the task and willingly do our best to mitigate suffering. The time has come for our profession to stop hiding from the right to life contingency and open a dialogue on end of life care. These health care professionals deserve the full support of the medical and nursing communities, we must not let them stand alone.

  • Anonymous

    My wife and I have been discussing taking a medically related position in NOLA for the past few weeks. On one hand, we would like to help rebuild. On the other, we have been concerned about the defective government which only showed its face during Katrina to disarm law abiding citizens.

    Thanks go to AG Charles Foti for helping with the decision. We will not be moving to NOLA. We will not be moving to the state of LA.

    If Dr Pou is convicted, you can count on the ENTIRE medical staff resigning and evacuating their families prior to the next hurricane. This case is likely to cause a mass exodus of medical professionals from the entire state.

    Maybe AG Foti will be willing to stay behind and care for the patients. But I doubt it.

  • Anonymous

    I would like to know where AG Foti was during Katrina? He must have high tailed it out of town in his European SUV prior to land fall. Ironic, isn’t it? NO & the state of LA should be absolutely ashamed of itself. Where was the AG’s office to help all of the care givers who stayed behind, leaving their own families, to care for others, with complete selflessness. Even if Dr. Pou and the two nurses did assist, their actions were completely humane. The inhumanity can be found in AG Foti.

  • Anonymous

    “So an inaction that causes undue pain and suffering is OK with you ???”

    In what world do you live in where you have permission to kill if you, in your sole discretion, decide another’s pain is too much?

    “”your statement is
    premature, at best.”

    Your statements sound as if they are coming from a FAT Trial Lawer…!!!”

    I would have thought that waiting until one had all the facts before reaching a conclusion would be a trait of a physician.

    “Even if Dr. Pou and the two nurses did assist, their actions were completely humane. “

    And you know this because. . . . oh, that’s right, you have no clue.

    You guys really are something – you’ll protect your own regardless of what you know about their actions.

  • Anonymous

    To the brilliant philosopher *insert sarcasm* above who equates the situation of these health care providers to the callousness of the Mt. Everest climbers (negligence by those on an ego trip in the first place), your logic is fascinatingly weird.

    Pallative administration of painkillers can and do suppress respirations to the point of death. Maybe instead of “rationalizing”, these caregivers (who were by the way, actually there …did stop, risked their lives, weren’t on a dick trip mountain climb) were acutally treating pain??? In 100+ degree weather with no clean water for days, non-functioning equipment, useless refrigerated meds …maybe, just maybe, these four patients actually were in pain? If so, to treat it was/is not only legal, it’s required by JCAHO.

  • Anonymous

    You think that moron knows what JCAHO is?

  • Virginia Stroke

    I attended high school and college with Dr. Anna Pou (she was known as Anna Maria at that time). Dr. Pou was an outstanding student and a kind and compassionate person to everyone. Over the years, I’ve read of Dr. Pou’s outstanding accomplishments in the field of medicine. She is continuing to provide incredible care and is a wonderful humanitarian. Foti will be proven wrong in his assertions.

  • Anonymous

    Legal responsibility to treat pain??…..I am not in the medical field, I am a seamstress, but I do remember a nurse telling me that it is the medical personnels’ duty and responsibility to treat pain as best they know how. That is what Dr Pou and nurses did. Ruth

  • Anonymous

    Mt Everest…it is unimaginable that hikers could pass the dying British climber for two days without stopping to help him get off the mountain. Can you imagine doctors hiking past an injured person on the trailside for two days and not stopping to help and making no effort to relieve his pain or get him off the trail? Are doctors on an ego trip when they help others? Should Dr Pou have left the hospital with sick patients lying in beds and unable to help themselves?? Should she have left the patients to die in a hospital with no refrigerated meds, no ac, and in a building that was now no longer a hospital with lifegiving equipment? This was now a brick building with sick people that were going to die except for heroic efforts of caregivers who stayed to help. The hospital had become a no man’s zone, with inhumane conditions similiar to Mt. Everest. Should she have left them to die alone in these conditions????

  • Anonymous

    Doctors have no right to decide when one dies, but do they have the right to leave one to die a long, slow death, alone. ??

  • Melanie

    As a care-giver for dementia patients and the terminally ill, I have thought about what I would want for one of my cases if they were in the hospital during such a tragic situation. Death with Dignity is NOT murder, and it does seems from what I’ve read that this was an act of compassion, not neglect or abuse of power. I hope the system can view the situation with as much objectivity as possible, and not condemn doctors to the same fate as armed robbers or random killers.

  • Anonymous

    Has anyone noticed Texas has had a huge increase in the number of physicians applying for a medical license? The chilling effect this case may have on pain treatment for the seriously ill will set medicine back a few more decades in Lousyana. I for one will be moving to Oregon if terminally ill where at least I may die with dignity.

  • Anonymous

    I have not taken the time to read these 70 comments so if I am repeating then I’am sorry.

    I don’t understand how anyone can condemn this woman or thos enurses when we don’t have anything close to the full story. But, we do know that it was a terrible mess there during Katrina.

    If they are going to arrest and accuse these 3 women fo murder then I want to know whay someone isn’t arrested for all the people who died in that dome. I don’t care if it is local govt. or FEMA. Someone needs to take responsibility for those deaths. This is someones sick way of taking attention off the many healthy people who were forced to die. “Lets arrest a doctor who was working her ass off, I bet that will get alot of publicity.”

  • Anonymous

    The MDieties of today should really thank the AMA of old – perhaps a blood sacrifice. Decades of medical worship and physician deification have turned the plebeians into a maleable mass. We have one group of posters that states that no one should rush to judgement while at the same time defending this provider because “went to school with them” or because she was academically accomplished. The fact that the claim of not having sufficient information to pass judgement prelcudes their defense is perhaps beyond their ken of understanding. As a part of this group and for the field generally, we have the rest of the MDieties rushing to the defense of one of their own. You guys could give the thin blue line a run for its money when it comes to closing rank, regardless of the nature and severity of the charge. Coupled with this we have the reprehensible, “if you don’t let her get away with it then we are going to run to another state” scare tactic. Who knows… this tactic worked with the plebecy when it came to surrendering their rights in the guise of the malpractice “crisis” such that the providers could increase their rates of financial enrichment… perhaps it will work with the same low brow plebeians in this case. After all… how shameful that an august and sage clinician be charged with a common crime such as murder. Finally, we have the non providers that are not claiming that this provider did not kill the patients either through incompetency or volition, but that she should be given a break because she stayed to help. Potential murder and/or incompetency must be acceptable for you folks as long as the purported claim of gallant egalitarianism is provided a priori.

  • Anonymous

    It’s really unnerving to see how many healthcare professionals have granted themselves the right to kill when they are upset.

  • Anonymous

    The issue is whether a certain law was violated. This is not a question of right or wrong, moral or immoral, good faith or bad faith. Nobody knows yet if any law has been violated, but there is suspicion. It is therefore imperative in a democracy to determine if such occurred. A civilized and democratic society has to go through this process to maintain order. Having said that, my opinion is that the governor should pardon the accused if found guilty. -amd

  • Diora

    Anon at 2:28. When listing different groups of posters and how they react you are forgetting non-providers like me who support this doctor and nurses for providing what they would’ve wanted for themselves had they been patients.

    Would you have preferred the doctor and nurses leaving them alone without food or water or any relief? What was the right thing to do in your opinion? What you would’ve done in a similar situation? Left them to die? Stayed and died with them even though there was nothing you could do to help?

    I also noticed that people who have been in extreme situations – like a Vietnam veteran above – are a little more understanding of these doctor and nurses then those who’ve never been in an extreme situation and haven’t even experienced hunger.

    You mention ‘incompetency’ – what incompetency? Would you care to show an incompetent decision in this case given that they had no power, limited supplies and not enough food or water?

  • Anonymous

    I’m not Anon 2:28, but:

    “how they react you are forgetting non-providers like me who support this doctor and nurses for providing what they would’ve wanted for themselves had they been patients.”

    Considering you know nothing about the feelings of those dead people, how do you know what they would have wanted. You don’t know the condition of those patients, you don’t know anything about them. That’s great that you think that is what you would have wanted, but just like I don’t get to choose for you, you don’t get to choose for them.

    “Would you have preferred the doctor and nurses leaving them alone without food or water or any relief? What was the right thing to do in your opinion? What you would’ve done in a similar situation? Left them to die? Stayed and died with them even though there was nothing you could do to help?”

    What I would prefer is that people take a deep breath and sit back and see what evidence comes out before jumping to conclusions. Again, right know we know literally nothing about the alleged victims.

  • Anonymous

    Diora:

    This is anon 2:28

    “Anon at 2:28. When listing different groups of posters and how they react you are forgetting non-providers like me who support this doctor and nurses for providing what they would’ve wanted for themselves had they been patients.”

    It is irrelevent what you would have wanted for yourself when it comes to the context of evaluating the legality and/or competency of the providers in this specific case. Empathy and sympathy are not replacements for the rule of law.

    “Would you have preferred the doctor and nurses leaving them alone without food or water or any relief? What was the right thing to do in your opinion? What you would’ve done in a similar situation? Left them to die? Stayed and died with them even though there was nothing you could do to help?”

    What I would prefer is that the allopathic medical system be treated and reorganized to follow the police and fire protection model. That would put an end to the “give us special privileges or else we will abandon our patients” nonsense that we have been hearing (not just this case but also the case with special legal protections governing professional liability). Relying on the “charity” of those who are “being killed” or “forced out of practice” for only making 100K per year is kind of like letting Enron set the national energy policy. The right thing to do in this case, given the existing system, was to provide competent care within the course and scope of the situation present. If the deaths of these patients were unavoidable, then clear the names of the people involved and let them return to their positions. If, however, the deaths were due to involuntary euthenasia in order to take the patients out of the providers’ misery, then they should be charged and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Gallant egalitarianism is no excuse for murder, manslaughter or incompetence.

    “I also noticed that people who have been in extreme situations – like a Vietnam veteran above – are a little more understanding of these doctor and nurses then those who’ve never been in an extreme situation and haven’t even experienced hunger.”

    Show me the legal statute that provides for involuntary euthenasia (assuming it happened) under the conditions at the time and I would agree that the providers should not be charged.

    “You mention ‘incompetency’ – what incompetency? Would you care to show an incompetent decision in this case given that they had no power, limited supplies and not enough food or water?”

    We have a number of options here. The patients died from something that was outside of what the providers did or could do under the conditions present. If such turns out to be the case – great. The patients died because the providers volitionally euthanized them – not great. The patients died because the providers used excessive opiate based medication – not great. The providers are purportedly the paragons of knowledge regarding the care of their charges. Unless the desired action was the death of these patients (with the other option perhaps being easing their suffering) than the results achieved are indicative of an incompetent conduction of action.

  • Anonymous

    “The patients died because the providers used excessive opiate based medication – not great. The providers are purportedly the paragons of knowledge regarding the care of their charges.”

    Excessive opiate based medication, otherwise known as terminal sedation, is regularly employed in hospice care. It is offered in the final days of life to control pain and symptoms, with the understanding that death may result. It needs to be used MORE often, not less. Unfortunately, this case is going to mean that more doc’s are going to find their hands tied, and more doc’s are going to be unwilling to prescribe adequate pain relief.

    Now you could argue that these patients were not terminal, but any patient sick enough to remain in the hospital during Katrina, is going to be fragile enough, that four days of 100 degree heat, and deydration, is going to quickly excebrate their conditions.

  • Anonymous

    Any doc who goes out of their way to alleviate the pain and suffering of these litigious assholes deserves to be raped by the media and medical boards and lawyers…I ain’t going to lose any sleep over that stupid wench…

  • Anonymous

    “Empathy and sympathy are not replacements for the rule of law”

    And bad laws need to be changed. You would be the person to tell Rosa Parks to sit down and shut up.

  • Anonymous

    My regrets. That should have read “stand up and shut up”.

  • Anonymous

    ” also noticed that people who have been in extreme situations – like a Vietnam veteran above…”

    I have watched some of the most intelligent and genuinely nice people I have ever known make serious and stupid mistakes in “extreme situations”…
    and I too have been in “extreme situations” in the course of 20+ years military service… What I am more understanding of is the clarity of the law, individual accountability, and perhaps awaiting the results of the investigation before jumping too far with conclusions. I don’t like what I’ve heard so far, but time will tell.

  • Anonymous

    What is the proper way to submit some kind of petition in support of Dr. Pou and these nurses?

    I am a patient of Doc Pou and I have surgery scheduled for tommoro. I wish she were with the ENT Team and resident Dr. Tenney whom I also think highly of.

    Dr. Pou, Nurses Budo and Landry should be vindicated of these charges, as Louisian will suffer much into the future from this. LB

  • Anonymous

    What is crystal clear is the level of absolute ignorance and arrogance exhibited by some of the legalistas posting this blog. The reason physicians are defensive, have rallied for legal reform, etc. is that most all have been wrongly accused, sued, or slandered at some point in their careers. Physicians feel pain at a visceral level, with little recourse. Physicians feel Dr. Pou’s pain. They know only defense. This must change. Those nonmedical “professionals” who bring unwarranted pain and suffering need to be held accountable for their actions, attorneys and attorney generals alike. Perhaps you can make yourself of use by contemplating the flip side of the coin: what options will Dr. Pou have to compensate her for all her losses, economic and noneconomic, if/when she is found innocent?

  • Anonymous

    anon 2:28 you appear to be a doctor hater. you seem to think that all doctors think they are godlike. do you feel inferior? are you educated? i notice that you use big words. i am not in the medical world. yet, i cannot condemm dr. pou for euthanizing the people who were left behind.

  • Anonymous

    I knew OJ was guilty from day one, and I think Dr. Pou is guilty also. However, OJ was not convicted, and I sure as hell hope that Dr. Pou gets off the hook also.

  • Anonymous

    I am a practicing Hospice RN in LA who only last year battled Foti during a Grand Jury investigating my practices in administering standard practice dosages of Morphine to an actively dying Hospice patient who was in severe pain. I was fortunate enough to be able to tell my story to the Grand Jury who found “no true bill”. It was a devastating experience both physically and mentally. My heart and prayers go out to Dr. Pou, Lori Budo, and Cheri Landry. I am currently telling my story to The New York Times in hopes of exposing a trend of half-truths, omissions, and the resulting injustice being practiced by Charles Foti’s office.

  • Anonymous

    I am a supporter of Dr. Anna Pou and the nurses. I am not a medical professional and I feel intimidated posting this comment as it is obvious that most people on this website are quite intelligent and I do not have anything of value to add as far as the debates forming in these comments.

    ANNA POU IS NOT A MURDERER.

    She saved the life of my dearest friend in the world. When every report and statistic in the world said that my friend would be dying of cancer within months, Dr. Pou gave him hope and fought for his life for over 20 hours in the operating room. I have thanked God for her every day. In my small mind, it makes no sense that this woman, who has fought for so, so many lives, would maliciously end a life (that is what she has been arrested for-right??). I know that if this comes to a trial, and her side of this story comes out…..I would stake all that this was not a case of “ending the obese man’s life b/c evacuating him would be inconvenient”. That makes absolutely no sense….if convenience motivated her, would she have picked the profession she did and would she have even stayed at the hospital??? Whatever Dr. Pou and the nurses did or did not do….they did not give up on any patients that could have survived and all decisions were made out of caring for the patients.

    Dr Pou-Thank you and may God bless you!!!

    DRDEB….you mentioned earlier in this post that Dr. Pou’s family was setting up a website….PLEASE post that as soon as it is available….it may be a more appropriate place to post well wishes.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you Hospice RN for sharing your experience. Please let us know when the NYT article is published.

  • fight Darwin to the last very last gasp

    Give these accusers what they wish. Next time you treat a dying patient just let them suffer. Withhold the ativan and morphine. Let them moan and grown and breathe like a fish out of water. Let them experience pain and hypoxia as long as possible up until the very last moment. Make all the family members watch as well. Let death come as agonizing and horrifying as possible. Almost no one wants a delayed agonizing death if they were to be wracked with dementia and debilitation yet family members and do-gooders want to insure that death be as prolonged, painful, and horrific as possible.

  • Anonymous

    To anon 2:28

    Physicians aren’t saying “give us special priveleges or we will abandon our patients”.

    It is simply a statement of fact that if you get punished for making a sacrifice and for making the best decisions possible in extenuating circumstances…then you will not put yourself in that situation again.

    So, no physician will voluntarily put themselves in that position should it ever arise again.

  • Anonymous

    How can standard rules or laws work in not so standard situations. When doctors or nurses work in war zones (which Katrina/New Orleans has been referred to) they have to make immediate decisions on who to save and who to let die. I personally would not have wanted to be in that position, but due to no fault of their own Dr Pou and the nurses left there, to take care of these patients, were put in that position. I’m sure it was difficult for them. They were in a living hell. Why is it hospice care is very respected (as it should be)and legal? Is that mercy killing? Hospice care in short is defined as palliative care for dying patients. This, most of the time, involves medical professionals administering large doses of pain killers with the knowledge it might kill the patient, but is done to help the patient in pain and to help stop the suffering. The doctor in her professional opinion felt these patients were suffering (and I’m sure they were)and impending death was to follow. All they did was treat the pain and misery their patients were having just before they died. As a nurse, in that position, I only hope I would have done the same thing.

  • Anonymous

    “As a nurse, in that position, I only hope I would have done the same thing.”

    If you were to make the decision that you had to actively take action to kill one of my family members without their consent because you were stressed, I would not only make sure that you were charged criminally, I would file a civil suit against you too, and push that fully to a jury.

    Unless you are the Messiah and this is the 2nd Coming, but I doubt he’ll post anonymously on blogs.

  • Anonymous

    “It is simply a statement of fact that if you get punished for making a sacrifice and for making the best decisions possible in extenuating circumstances…then you will not put yourself in that situation again.

    So, no physician will voluntarily put themselves in that position should it ever arise again.”

    Good. It should be a rule of thumb that you should not kill patients during times of crisis. Somehow, every other healthcare provider in New Orleans managed not to do it. Maybe you can take a lesson.

  • Lisa

    Dr. Pou has absolutley sterling credentials. You cannot achieve the position that she has achieved without your ethics and your demeanor and your behavior conforming to the generally accepted standards of the medical establishment. Since the medical community in the United States generally does not condone euthenasia let alone murder, it is hard to believe that Dr. Pou believed that what she was doing was either euthenasia or murder. It is also hard to believe that after a lifetime of indoctrination into and compliance with generally accepted medical practice, Dr. Pou would suddenly deviate from common eithical practice.

    The motivation for the alleged murder in some of the public commentary has been that the medical staff was not being allowed to evacuate the hospital until after all the patients were either dead or evacuated. Who would have forced the staff to stay against their will caring for patients under such perilous conditions other than their own conscience? I just does not make sense that the medical staff at Memorial who chose to stay during and for four days after the hurricaine under arduous conditions where it was impossible to offer even basic medical care to critically ill patients would choose to kill patients so they could evacuate.

    Morphine and Versed were alleged to be the drugs that were improperly administered to these critically ill patients in order to murder them. As many medical people have pointed out in news articles and in the public debate, if your intention is to cause a peaceful death, high doses of barbituates are a much more certain way to do it, perhaps followed by a lethal dose of IV potassium chloride. Barbituates and potassium chloride would have been as readily available in the hospital as morphine and versed.

    Generally accepted medical practice in end of life care routinely allows doses of medication that may hasten the death of terminally ill individuals in order to treat their pain and suffering. If Dr. Pou ordered or administered medications in order to alleviate extreme suffering of terminally ill patients and their deaths were consequently hastened because of the medications, she did nothing unethical and certainly nothing illegal under current standards of medical ethics. If possible, a doctor would discuss these types of treatment decisions with the sick person before they were in insufferable pain. If the patient could not make these decisions for themselves, the doctor would discuss them with the guardian or next of kin. If their is no guardian or family, the courts would decide by appointing a guardian. If there is a question about what the right thing to do is, the doctor can present the case to the hospital medical ethics committee (generally made up of medical personel, lawyers, clergy, administraters, and interested members of the community). Dr. Pou did not have these options available to her.

    Friends, patients, and collegues of Dr. Pou have written about their personal impressions of her competance and character. This type of evidence is allowed in court, so why not present it also in the court of public opinion.

    One of the most distressing parts of the public discussion of this case is that when medical people try to explain medical ethics, standards of care, and what it is like to practice critical care medicine without electricity to run ventilatiors, IV pumps, dialysis machines, without a lab, without the equipment to do continuous monitoring of EKG, pulse ox, and central venous pressure, without total parenteral nutrition, without sterile supplies, the medical people are often accused of closing ranks to protect one of their own, or being vain and arrogant, or playing god.

    In fact, the medical profession often holds its own to much higher standard than the public or the law does. The medical profession does not look mercifully on mitigating circumstances such as the lack of resources or the lack of accepted guidelines for dealing with the issues that faced the staff at Memorial. If Dr. Pou administered morphine and versed to patients who were not terminally ill with the sole intention of causing their deaths to make things easier on the medical staff and to allow them to evacuate as has been alleged, then she will be condemned by the medical establishment as well as the law.

    I am a physician. Rather than feeling vain or arrogant about my position, I am humbled daily by my lack of knowledge, the limitations of medical treatment, and my impotence in treating patients with uncurable diseases. Rather than feeling like god, and always knowing the right thing to do, I struggle with how to appropriately explain to patients the uncertainties of treatment outcome and prognosis. Knowing what I know about medicine and the culture of the medical profession, it is very difficult to believe the charges against Dr. Pou will be substantiated. It just doesn’t make sense.

  • Anonymous

    All I can say is that, after reading what happened to Dr. Pou and the 2 nurses, I don’t think, as a physician, I’ll ever be able to voluntarily care for patients in the event of a disaster.

    Also, where are our vaunted medical societies? Where are their cries of outrage? They seem to be as quiet as the government that failed New Orleans during Katrina.

  • Anonymous

    I feel sorry for everybody who were there, patients and providers. As George Bush said,
    “You never know what your history is going to be like until long after you’re gone.”—Washington, D.C., May 5, 2006.

  • Anonymous

    “Now you could argue that these patients were not terminal, but any patient sick enough to remain in the hospital during Katrina, is going to be fragile enough, that four days of 100 degree heat, and deydration, is going to quickly excebrate their conditions.”

    Exacerbate their condition(s) the point of needing involuntary euthenasia?

  • Anonymous

    “The reason physicians are defensive, have rallied for legal reform, etc. is that most all have been wrongly accused, sued, or slandered at some point in their careers.”

    Odd, is it not? How physicians who have been “wrongly accused, sued or slandered” have no problems with prostituting themselves when it comes to PI cases and/or criminal defense cases in which they stand to profit. It matters not that these streetwalker physicians, with no ability or training to actually analyze events such as motor vehicle accidents (the event itself) are more than happy to “wrongly accuse” and assist in the “sueing” of some poor shmuck that tapped their dirtbag patient’s car at one or two miles per hour. Brain injury in a one mile an hour impact? Disc herniations in a one mile a hour impact? Post-traumatic fibromyalgia? Sure. We won’t even discuss how many murders, rapists and child killers have been let off the hook because of the “mental illness” testimony of the slick psyhciatrists – the same ones that deem these criminals as being cured only to have these scourges loosed to find fresh victims. If physicians want to whine about junk lawsuits, the first people to blame are their colleagues that more than happily bed the same trial lawyers when it comes time to propose post hoc ergo propter hoc junk science causation testimony.

    Perhaps you can make yourself of use by contemplating the flip side of the coin: what options will Dr. Pou have to compensate her for all her losses, economic and noneconomic, if/when she is found innocent?

    The same recourse that the rest of us have when it comes to this issue? You aren’t argueing for special treatment for her just because she is a MDiety?

  • Anonymous

    anon 2:28 you appear to be a doctor hater. you seem to think that all doctors think they are godlike. do you feel inferior? are you educated? i notice that you use big words. i am not in the medical world. yet, i cannot condemm dr. pou for euthanizing the people who were left behind.

    In order asked – No, Yes (dem BIG words don’t come from nowhere). It is your choice to wish to provide special treatment to physicians. Don’t start crying when it is your child that is butchered by one of the incompetents in the ranks of the physician community and the value of your child is deemed to only be $250K and don’t start crying if and when involuntary euthanasia becomes accepted (see the UK) and it is you whose life is deemed as unworthy of continuance.

  • Anonymous

    ANNA POU IS NOT A MURDERER.

    And how do you know this? If you have some information that the rest of us are not privy to then you should pass it on to her defense attorneys (those horrible lawyer types that only live to suck the blood of the physicians).

    She saved the life of my dearest friend in the world.

    This isn’t your basis for the contention that she did not intentionally kill those patients? Is it? This country is doomed if this line of thinking is what constitutes logic on the part of the masses.

  • Anonymous

    Funny, I thought the prevailing logic in this country was that we presume innocence until guilt is proven. Dr. Pou has not even been indicted by a grand jury, let alone convicted. Why should we not presume her to be innocent?

  • Anonymous

    The same recourse that the rest of us have when it comes to this issue? You aren’t argueing for special treatment for her just because she is a MDiety?

    No, I’m not, Your Legal Highness. The point is that existing remedies are inadequate. We need extensive legal reform in this country, starting with abolition of the Lousiana Napoleonic guilt until proven innocent you proffer, followed by loser pays in lawsuits, including damages for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, etc. suffered by the accussed when proven innocent. Your professional organization, the American Trial Lawyers Association, is so poorly perceived that it voted to enact a deceitful and patently fraudulent name change to American Association for Justice. A cesspool by any other name would smell so foul.

  • Anonymous

    MDiety hater:
    You might be educated but you aren’t bright.

  • Anonymous

    “Your professional organization, the American Trial Lawyers Association, is so poorly perceived that it voted to enact a deceitful and patently fraudulent name change to American Association for Justice.”

    You’re right – they should have been smarter lobbyists and started with something that masks their sinister intentions. Like “Common Good” for example.

  • Anonymous

    “”The reason physicians are defensive, have rallied for legal reform, etc. is that most all have been wrongly accused, sued, or slandered at some point in their careers.””

    Is there a whinier group than physicians? Please, stop complaining. For just a day.

  • Anonymous

    “Odd, is it not? How physicians who have been “wrongly accused, sued or slandered” have no problems with prostituting themselves when it comes to PI cases and/or criminal defense cases in which they stand to profit. It matters not that these streetwalker physicians, with no ability or training to actually analyze events such as motor vehicle accidents (the event itself) are more than happy to “wrongly accuse” and assist in the “sueing” of some poor shmuck that tapped their dirtbag patient’s car at one or two miles per hour. Brain injury in a one mile an hour impact? Disc herniations in a one mile a hour impact? Post-traumatic fibromyalgia? Sure. We won’t even discuss how many murders, rapists and child killers have been let off the hook because of the “mental illness” testimony of the slick psyhciatrists – the same ones that deem these criminals as being cured only to have these scourges loosed to find fresh victims.”

    Ths “poor schmuck” you refer to has been my spouse in this regard. Although the fender-bender did not warrant as much as a citation from the responding officer, the NON-M.D. backquacker cum ambulance chaser’s footboy who irradiated various bones and organs of the plaintiff managed to ring up a large bill and spurious diagnoses ad nauseum. This is how a large population of pseudo-health professionals and legal hyenas thrive. The buck is passed from the insurance company, which is hence recompensed from our collective pockets. Regarding sentence #2, physicians who prostitute themselves, a despicable minority, may do so due to the ability of the attorney to better remunerate than the health care system. They have no trouble turning on other physicians. One or more will surely be hired in any civil actions filed. Many of these hired guns are, in fact, no longer practicing the area of acknowledged expertise. They are primarily hired by the plantiff’s attorney due to the perception that gray hair and years of experience will play well to a jury naive of the subject at hand. The truth is that many a legal proceding is little more than theater of the absurd. Jury trials are not about seeking truth and justice, but persuading a group of people largely naive of whatever subject is at hand to vote a certain way within a framework of rules interpreted by a judge who may not be impartial. Far more murderers are on the street as a result of highly compensated, egotistical defense attorneys who do the wrong thing “because they can” and are well paid to do so. They are the ones who pay for the hired guns. The flip side of the murderers on the street are the innocents locked up or worse for lack of adequate legal representation.

  • Anonymous

    Funny, I thought the prevailing logic in this country was that we presume innocence until guilt is proven. Dr. Pou has not even been indicted by a grand jury, let alone convicted. Why should we not presume her to be innocent?

    Why should we presume anything? Why not wait until the case is either dismissed or charges are filed? Why assume that she is innocent because she is an MDiety?

  • Anonymous

    “No, I’m not, Your Legal Highness. The point is that existing remedies are inadequate. We need extensive legal reform in this country, starting with abolition of the Lousiana Napoleonic guilt until proven innocent you proffer, followed by loser pays in lawsuits, including damages for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, etc. suffered by the accussed when proven innocent. Your professional organization, the American Trial Lawyers Association, is so poorly perceived that it voted to enact a deceitful and patently fraudulent name change to American Association for Justice. A cesspool by any other name would smell so foul.

    Strike one. I am not an attorney. Let us talk legal reform. The first thing is getting self-serving physician speculators out of the secundum res causation business. You should at least tell the uninformed plebeians here the truth – that being that every junk science BS court clogging ambulance chaser case MUST HAVE a clinical expert willing to substantiate the claim of the plaintiff.

    One would think that attorneys, who become judges, would have some degree of logical ability. Unfortunately, when it comes to the corrupting nature of MDiety worship, all logic and reasoned thinking is tossed out on its ear. Here is a typical exhcange (DA = civil defense attorney; PS = physician streetwalker):

    DA: Doctor, now you claim that the accident caused, to a reasonble degree of medical certainty, the plaintiff to develop a giant rectal polyp?

    PS: Yes.

    DA: What is your basis for this contention?

    PS: Well, my patient told me that she did not have a rectal polyp before the auto accident and she has one now, therefore the accident caused it.

    DA: How did you verify that the plaintiff’s contention of not having a rectal polyp prior to the accident was accurate?

    PS: Well, I didn’t. But my patient told me and I must believe my patient (unless of course it is a med mal case – then the patient is a liar).

    DA: So, because someone becomes your patient, that means that whatever they tell you becomes factual and true?

    PS: Well of course, unless I am the person getting sued.

    DA: Did you use any form of divining, truth seeking, mind reading or psychic power to determine if the patient was being truthful?

    PS: Of course. There is a direct correlation between whether or not the plaintiff is being truthful and whether or not I am the profiteer/defendant.

    To all of the following the answers would be no – actual analysis of the incident, any determination if the purported noxious agent was present and if so present to a degree to cause objective structural injury to the plaintiff.

    This, unfortunately, is what the courtrooms are chock full of. Physician streetwalkers who perpetrate the “my patient told me and using my lie detector powers I determined that they weren’t lying ( unless I am being sued)” post hoc ergro propter scam and the judiciary that enables this crap.

  • Anonymous

    MDiety hater:
    You might be educated but you aren’t bright.

    That must be it. I wish to see the law applied equally as well as getting the physician streetwalkers out of the BS causation peddling market and I am the one that is not too bright. But please, don’t let stop you from giving up your rights at the behest of the blackmail from the providers. All I ask is that you don’t sacrifce mine.

  • Anonymous

    “You should at least tell the uninformed plebeians here the truth.

    Why don’t we just let the “jury” of our bloggers decide what the truth is Y.L.H.!

  • Anonymous

    “Why should we presume anything? Why not wait until the case is either dismissed or charges are filed? Why assume that she is innocent because she is an MDiety?”

    Well, because (again) in this country we presume innocence until guilt is proven. You ask a question that was already directly addressed. Until Dr. Pou is proven guilty of murder in a court of law, I will presume her to be innocent. Its really as easy as that.

    (To be fair, I can understand why such a seemingly simplistic concept might seem foreign given your impressively verbose communication style … I’d conceal the objectives of my posts with overwraught obfuscatory language too, but then I’d look like just as much of an ass as you.)

  • Anonymous

    Please someone, stop the world, I want to get off! What do you mean that’s illegal?

  • Anonymous

    Well, because (again) in this country we presume innocence until guilt is proven. You ask a question that was already directly addressed. Until Dr. Pou is proven guilty of murder in a court of law, I will presume her to be innocent. Its really as easy as that.

    Presume what you wish. The world does not revolve around your presumptions. The presumption of innocence is the legal standard regarding criminal prosecution. To each his/her own regarding their personal opinion on the matter.

    One wonders if you would be so quick to presume innocence were this a case of a garden variety plebeian defendant (if and when charges are filed) instead of an MDiety…

    (To be fair, I can understand why such a seemingly simplistic concept might seem foreign given your impressively verbose communication style … I’d conceal the objectives of my posts with overwraught obfuscatory language too, but then I’d look like just as much of an ass as you.)

    Overwraguht? Obfuscatory? Apparently, you have little to no problem when it comes to understanding the contents of my posts. Either your intellect is mighty beyond compare or just perhaps the use of polysyllabic terminology is not as obfuscatory as you are claiming. I will leave the facile name calling to you as apparently it is an activity that you show more than just moderate skill with.

  • Anonymous

    “You should at least tell the uninformed plebeians here the truth”

    Yeah, leave that high flatutin’ name calling to that Ph.D. (that’s Piled Higher and Deeper for us plebes).

  • Anonymous

    To Lisa of 10:43am

    Excellent post. Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    Good. It should be a rule of thumb that you should not kill patients during times of crisis. Somehow, every other healthcare provider in New Orleans managed not to do it. Maybe you can take a lesson.

    9:29 am

    To Anonymous 9:29am
    Please read my entire post again. My comment was in response to anon 2:28′s accusation that physicians were threatening to abandon patients if not doctors were not given special treatment.

    My point again is that doctors are not threatening to abandon patients.

    You simply cannot expect anyone, doctor or not, to offer help in a crisis if they get punished for offering their help.

    A legitimate reply would be that Dr. Pou’s actions were not “help”. However, only full disclosure of the facts and a fair trial will determine that.

  • Anonymous

    To Anonymous 9:29am
    Please read my entire post again. My comment was in response to anon 2:28′s accusation that physicians were threatening to abandon patients if not doctors were not given special treatment.

    The same threats have been made by the physicians over not having special stutus on legal liability (i.e. abandoning existing patients for purely fiscal motivations). What makes you think that they wouldn’t do it over a potential murder charge against one of their own.

  • Anonymous

    The banter between Anon 2:28 and others is laughable. Anon 2:28′s demeanor is condescending, paranoid, and with more conspiracy theories than an X-files episode. Obviously this person’s life experience is not that of a health professional. Walk away.

  • Anonymous

    “Somehow, every other healthcare provider in New Orleans managed not to do it.” Yes, where were the others?? Protecting their families as they rightfully should? Only a few saints stayed behind in that hospital. Dr Pou was one.

  • Anonymous

    garden variety plebeian…that’s me. and we are all the same, anon 2:28, whether a dr, lawyer, or indian chief. do you honestly hate drs? i am a simple person, i believe that everyone has good in them…cept maybe oj. do you think that dr pou is the same kind of person as oj? i think the hospital was being evacuated and she did what she thought was right, helpful, just, and compassionate. can you understand that? these people were probably told about the shot/shots they were given, they were probably told about the decision to leave the terminally ill, non-transportable patients behind. Would you anon, rather these people died a heated, dehydrated death in their own feces, ’cause no one was their to help? even family members were required to leave by the police. why didn’t the police/govn’t take these patients? I think compassion guided the effort of dr pou to relieve these left-behind patients of the reality of their situation. i would only hope she would do the same for me.

  • Anonymous

    anon, if you could save a dying person, but you had to break a law to do so, would you break the law??

  • Anonymous

    “Somehow, every other healthcare provider in New Orleans managed not to do it.” Yes, where were the others?? Protecting their families as they rightfully should? Only a few saints stayed behind in that hospital. Dr Pou was one.”

    You do realize that it was another healthcare provider that reported this, right? Thank goodness there are some not so convinced of their own sainthood.

    “Somehow, every other healthcare provider in New Orleans managed not to do it.” Yes, where were the others?? Protecting their families as they rightfully should? Only a few saints stayed behind in that hospital. Dr Pou was one.”

    I think you should read the affidavit posted in the thread above. They were actively evacuating people. One alleged victim was coherent.

    Why is it so hard for you to understand that working in a hospital doesn’t mean you get to kill people when you’re stressed?

  • Anonymous

    The banter between Anon 2:28 and others is laughable. Anon 2:28′s demeanor is condescending, paranoid, and with more conspiracy theories than an X-files episode. Obviously this person’s life experience is not that of a health professional. Walk away.

    This is about the level of response that I would expect from someone who has about zero squared to contribute to a discussion of the issues at hand. Have you spent even a moment of your existence studying the history of allopathic medicine in the United States? Perhaps taking a gander at the Flexner Report? Maybe reading a chapter in from Paul Starr’s “The Social Transformation of American Medicine.” There was a time not very long ago, when allopaths enjoyed a level of repute that was lower than even the lowly homeopaths. Do you have any idea as to how this underlying historical context transformed into the medical monopoly of today?

  • Anonymous

    anon, if you could save a dying person, but you had to break a law to do so, would you break the law??

    Yes and no. Your hypothetical is so broad that once fleshed with details the answer could deviate either way. The relevence of this hypothetical to the subject issue is somewhat dubious. We have dead patients… not those that were saved.

  • Anonymous

    garden variety plebeian…that’s me. and we are all the same, anon 2:28, whether a dr, lawyer, or indian chief.

    If such were the case, assuming the worst case scenario here for the moment, would you excuse similar behavior on the part of a lawyer or indian chief or are you providing a greater lattitude to those in the medical profession solely because of their profession?

    do you honestly hate drs?

    No. I, do, however, find monopolies, double standards, abuse of power and sacred cows to be detestable.

    i am a simple person, i believe that everyone has good in them…cept maybe oj.

    Don’t let rain on your parade. Let me toss out some names here for you… Albert Fish, Dr. HH Holmes, the SHU in Pelican Bay… Given that you have cited OJ Simpson as the only posible exception to your paradigm, are you stating that the above-cited individuals also have some good in them?

    do you think that dr pou is the same kind of person as oj?

    No. Being “the same kind of person” as OJ Simpson, however, is not the only basis for legal prosecution.

    i think the hospital was being evacuated and she did what she thought was right, helpful, just, and compassionate. can you understand that?

    Do you have first hand knowledge of this. Can you, to a resonable degree of certainty, provide information as to the state of mind of Dr. Pau? This sounds like what you would like to believe and appears to be speculative.

    these people were probably told about the shot/shots they were given, they were probably told about the decision to leave the terminally ill, non-transportable patients behind.

    Again, do you have first hand knowledge of any of the statements that are preceeded with the word “probably.” Were you there at the scene? If yes, then please contact her defense team. If this is a case of malicious prosecution, then Dr. Pau should be exonerated immediately. If not, then we have two other options. The first is that the patients were intentionally and without their volition euthanizded. The second is that the deaths were not intentional. In that case, if the deaths can be linked directly to the treatment, than said treatment was not competently provided.

    Would you anon, rather these people died a heated, dehydrated death in their own feces, ’cause no one was their to help? even family members were required to leave by the police.

    I would rather that they have been treated adequately such that they would have survived the ordeal. This is not to say that this is not what happened. We need more information to evaluate this issue. Unlike some, however, I am not going to agree with carte blanche excuses for the deaths of thse patients under each and every hypothetical scenario that has been raised.

    why didn’t the police/govn’t take these patients? I think compassion guided the effort of dr pou to relieve these left-behind patients of the reality of their situation. i would only hope she would do the same for me.

    The failure of the government and law enforcement officials to perform their duties is not excusatory or a basis for involuntary ehtenasia (under the hypothetical where such was the case).

  • Anonymous

    “You do realize that it was another healthcare provider that reported this, right? Thank goodness there are some not so convinced of their own sainthood”
    From what I understand the healthcare reporter had long since left the hospital for a more sanitary, sane environment. He was no saint.

  • Anonymous

    If such were the case, assuming the worst case scenario here for the moment, would you excuse similar behavior on the part of a lawyer or indian chief or are you providing a greater lattitude to those in the medical profession solely because of their profession? I give the same latitude to the lawyer/indian chief. I am merely trying to put myself in someone else’s shoes. I would not want to leave sick patients alone to die an ugly,scarey,hot,stinky death. Oh and by the way, how do we know that each patient did not indeed give his consent to the shots of morphine and versed. this may be a case of voluntary euthanasia.

  • Anonymous

    yes, i knew one patient was coherent…and she could easily have consented to humane euthanasia. dr king could have left before dr pou, in any case, he left behind sick patients to die a miserable death, alone. wonder what his solution was…why did he not pick them up and carry them to safety? why? did he know they would die anyway? why did he leave them in horrible conditions??

  • Anonymous

    is dr king a murderer too?

  • Anonymous

    Oh and by the way, how do we know that each patient did not indeed give his consent to the shots of morphine and versed. this may be a case of voluntary euthanasia.

    I don’t think we have enough information at this point ot draw a conclusion on this issue. My point all along has been that there is no underlying basis to make a determination of guilt or innocene at this point with the information present. This goes for the a priori assertion of guilt or innocence on the charges filed.

    I am merely trying to put myself in someone else’s shoes. I would not want to leave sick patients alone to die an ugly,scarey,hot,stinky death.

    How about the shoes of a patient that regardless of their immediate misery, would find their own death to be an even worse outcome? It is difficult to put oneself in someone else’s shoes when the course and scope of the exercise is limited to the situation of what would the observer do and wish to have done for them instead of what was the done to and by the actual involved parties based upon their desires and intentions.

  • Anonymous

    “…..medical monopoly of today?”

    Please do elaborate for us plebeians.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    Basically this advocates a laissez-faire, unlicensed, libertarian free-for-all with all-comers who can hang a shingle able to provide health care and be reimbursed by insurance payors. To refute the illogical and unsupported postulates and conclusions contained therein is beyond this blog. Suffice it to say that I view this report with the same confidence of that “surgeon” who “slept last night in a Holiday Inn Express”.

  • Anonymous

    The article needs to be read in the context of the position issues that the Cato Insitute takes in regards to all subjects – a very Libertarian one. While I do not agree with a number of their solutions, the article does have the history for how allopathic medicine monopolized the field of healthcare and has ensured endless employment with compensation rates and political power beyond the ken of that available to the plebeians.

  • Mace B

    I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Pou as a medical student while she was at UTMB. She is a very compassionate physician and anyone who has worked with her will admit that she would be the last person to give up on a patient. In my experience, head and neck surgeons are typically the last person to give up on their patients, even when the patient’s prognosis is grim. Dr. Pou was this type of surgeon and these charges are impossible to believe. Thanks to television and movies, the public’s perception is that medicine is foolproof, and that if something bad happens to a patient while in the hospital, then someone must have done something wrong. This misconception doesn’t apply in any of today’s hospitals, and it certainly does not apply to any of the hospitals that were treating patients during the crisis situations after Katrina. I hope this attempt to vilify one of the hero’s of Katrina ends soon. It is absurd and disrespectful to those that risked their lives to treat countless victims in what was probably the worst medical setting this country has seen. I wish someone could prosecute the attorney’s for their actions in this matter.

  • Anonymous

    All of you apologists for Dr. Pou: If what she did was ethical and appropriate, why did she lie to E.E.? Why did she tell him she was giving something for dizziness? Why did she not explain her decision to the patient that he could not be saved?

  • Anonymous

    “is dr king a murderer too?” I
    believe Dr King is the contract dr that reported Dr Pou to CNN as soon as he got out of the stinking hospital. Is he a murderer for leaving patients behind, knowing they would die?

  • Anonymous

    What is the E.E.? And what is the lie that Dr Pou told to the E.E.??

  • Anonymous

    “All of you apologists for Dr. Pou: If what she did was ethical and appropriate, why did she lie to E.E.? Why did she tell him she was giving something for dizziness? Why did she not explain her decision to the patient that he could not be saved?”

    please explain who is E.E. and where did this information come from?

  • Anonymous

    “I suppose Dr. Pou could’ve taken the easy way out and just let the dying folks suffer until they did, ultimately and miserably…die. One lesson learned about the nature of American Medicine–don’t stick your neck out for what you believe is the right thing to do, because it will get you burned by public opinion (or the law). Why do you think so many doctors are reticent to prescribe adequate doses of painkillers for folks? It may be the right thing to do, but someday that empathetic physician will be arrested by the DEA and his or her life will be destroyed in the media. “

    How true.

  • Anonymous

    “Would you anon, rather these people died a heated, dehydrated death in their own feces, ’cause no one was there to help? even family members were required to leave by the police.

    I would rather that they have been treated adequately such that they would have survived the ordeal. This is not to say that this is not what happened. We need more information to evaluate this issue. Unlike some, however, I am not going to agree with carte blanche excuses for the deaths of thse patients under each and every hypothetical scenario that has been raised.”

    Anon2:28..what treatment/care would you have given to adequately treat these patients so that they would have survived the ordeal?

  • Anonymous

    It’s in the affidavit which Kevin linked to in the blog entry right after this one. Here it is again for the lazy: http://www.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/national/20060717warrants.pdf#search=

    E.E. is the 380 pounder who gets a lot of play in the affidavit. When she found he was still conscious and alert and she couldn’t lug his fat ass up the stairs, she killed him. After telling him she was giving him something for dizziness.

    That’s more or less the accusation. Innocent until proven guilty and all that, but if it’s right, it’s murder.

    Actually it’s murder of all four patients. But the fact that she lied in the one case tells you what? That if she’d told him she was killing him he might have protested and she’d have to have strapped him down while she gave him a lethal injection?

  • Anonymous

    the lazy, computer illiterate, garden plebeian says thanx…gotta think about that a couple of days.

  • Anonymous

    Anon2:28..what treatment/care would you have given to adequately treat these patients so that they would have survived the ordeal?

    I am waiting for an answer……lcigp

  • Anonymous

    I don’t believe that Anon 2:28 is a medical professional given the broad brush with which she has painted the medical profession. Nor was Anon 2:28 able to expound on the specific legal recourse available to the accused when they are found innocent (as Anon 2:28 noted, she is not an attorney). My bet is Anon 2:28 is an Ivory tower type, perhaps a professorial sort. It is hard to imagine any milk of human kindness flowing from that steely teat based on the comments voiced in this blog.

  • Anonymous

    lcigp here…. looking for anon2:28′s answer. After thinking for a couple of days, I believe that drpou should not have lied to the 380 pounder. She should have walked away from everyone. She should have let the patients die as a result of the administration’s decision to leave patients behind. She should have shown no compassion for their upcoming misery due to being left alone in hunger, thirst, heat, and bodily wastes. She should not have taken charge of their lives nor their miseries. Again, I am not a medical person nor am I associated with the medical profession.
    Anon 2;28 whether a female or a male, what would you have done??

  • Anonymous

    I worked in Surgery with Dr. Anna Pou at UTMB-Galveston. I cannot imagine the devistating trauma that Patients and staff were going through. I do not believe that she was trying to play God I believe that she was doing her best in her situation (While we were sitting at home Comfortable watching T.V.) We cannot judge Dr.Pou and her nurses negativley. Dr. Pou is a compasionate person and always went the extra mile for her patients. She is a Surgeon that treated her patients like they were her family. So to all those negative People Please put yourself in her shoes. I dont think that many of us could have gone through what she and many others experienced– P.S. PEOPLE THIS WAS A WOLRD CHANGING EVENT. THANK GOD FOR THE LIVES THAT WERE SAVED BY DR. POU AND HER STAFF. GOD BLESS THE ONES THAT LOST THEIR LIVES.

  • Anonymous

    Amen !! to………anon 3:12 pm

  • Jeff Barson

    Logic will eventually prevail. Neither the MD haters nor the Pou Defenders know yet exactly what happened.

  • Anonymous

    Here in South St. Louis, Missouri, I am devasted to hear of the lynch mob going after these women. I own a salon and several of the professional women are shocked as well. We would like to send money to help defend these women. Please let us know where we can send it.
    Our thoughts are that if they were of the male gender these charges would never have come about. No one can know the hell these women and their patients went through unless they were right there with them.

  • Anonymous

    After heroically staying with the patients through the most horrendous conditions, all personal were ordered to evacuate,(including Dr. Pou and the nurses) leaving behind the immobile Do Not Resucitate DNR patients. If you remember, one of the patients that died had a daughter who worked as a nurse’s aide or some low level position at the hospital. She was ordered by armed military personnal to evacuate and leave her ill but conscious, mother who was of sound mind, and she did so. I think we should not be making scapecoats of caring medical professionals, but look at failures of coordination of government, Red Cross, etc. Surely America in 2005 and still in 2006 is capable of doing better. Wake up and think people!

  • Anonymous

    Self-righteous monday morning quarterbacks judging others — remember, you too will be judged. Unless you have walked a mile in someone else shoes, be quiet. Yes, only God should have the power to give and take life. However, without all of the facts in the case, no one should make a premature judgement. Offering comfort and pain medication after being ordered to evacuate but leave behind living, concious, and breathing patients is a heroic act of kindness, revealing loving compassion. The scarce medical personnel who had courageously stayed with the patients working under horrendous conditions for days were ordered by armed officers to leave the immobile DNR patients behind unattended!

  • uberpatriot

    Eeeeeeek! The MDeities are out to kill us all! Stay away from the hospitals! If an MDeity approaches, threaten it forcefully with malpractice litigation! Just look at the evil Dr. Pou, slithering into Hurricane ravaged New Orleans to ‘take care of’ the perfectly healthy, not terminal at all, patients at Memorial Medical Center, patients who were just a miracle away from getting out of their beds and walking, er, swimming home from the hospital. (My condolences to their families.)

    Oh, I’m sorry — false alarm. The anonymous commenter was talking about MDieties, not MDeities. An MDiety is just a doctor who forces you to eat sensibly and exercise. Wait a minute… eat sensibly and exercise?! Eeeeeeek! Run for your lives!

  • Sharon

    I was not at Memorial Medical during the hurricane. I thank God everyday that I was safe in my home in Baton Rouge. As a hospice nurse, I spent my “off time” on the phone looking for beds in LTC facilities for hospice patients in New Orleans and the surrounding towns. I’ve thought many times about Dr. Pou and the nurses working with her. No electricity, water,or food. How can any one of us HONESTLY say what we would have done. Where were the families of these people? Why didn’t they take their loved ones with them? I think Mr. Foti is wrong to bring charges. I think we should be thanking these people for staying behind when all the others bailed. If these women are found guilty, I can gaurantee that the next time something this horrible happens, every doctor, nurse, CNA, etc. will run. I keep these women in my prayers constantly.

  • Sharon

    I was not at Memorial Medical during the hurricane. I thank God everyday that I was safe in my home in Baton Rouge. As a hospice nurse, I spent my “off time” on the phone looking for beds in LTC facilities for hospice patients in New Orleans and the surrounding towns. I’ve thought many times about Dr. Pou and the nurses working with her. No electricity, water,or food. How can any one of us HONESTLY say what we would have done. Where were the families of these people? Why didn’t they take their loved ones with them? I think Mr. Foti is wrong to bring charges. I think we should be thanking these people for staying behind when all the others bailed. If these women are found guilty, I can gaurantee you that the next time something this horrible happens, every doctor, nurse, CNA, etc. will run. I keep these women in my prayers constantly.

  • Jim McEwan, CRNA

    I was shocked after watching 60 minutes. I believe this attorney general is a narcisitic idiot who needs to be taken to a catastrohic situation such as was the case in Katina, made to work around the clock in horrific conditions, and care for terminally very ill patients and try to survive and make all the right decisions. These prosecutorial bastards need to spend the tax payers money on going after the real criminals in this situation, namely the individuals in the government agencies that failed to help these heroic healthcare givers in this terrible circumstance. I will be contributing to the legal fund for defense pf Dr. Pou and the two nurses.

    Jim McEwan, CRNA, Dallas, Tx

  • Jim McEwan, CRNA

    I was shocked after watching 60 minutes. I believe this attorney general is a narcisitic idiot who needs to be taken to a catastrohic situation such as was the case in Katina, made to work around the clock in horrific conditions, and care for terminally very ill patients and try to survive and make all the right decisions. These prosecutorial bastards need to spend the tax payers money on going after the real criminals in this situation, namely the individuals in the government agencies that failed to help these heroic healthcare givers in this terrible circumstance. I will be contributing to the legal fund for defense pf Dr. Pou and the two nurses.
    Jim McEwan, CRNA, Dallas, Tx

  • Jim McEwan, CRNA

    I was shocked after watching 60 minutes. I believe this attorney general is a narcisitic idiot who needs to be taken to a catastrohic situation such as was the case in Katina, made to work around the clock in horrific conditions, and care for terminally very ill patients and try to survive and make all the right decisions. These prosecutorial bastards need to spend the tax payers money on going after the real criminals in this situation, namely the individuals in the government agencies that failed to help these heroic healthcare givers in this terrible circumstance. I will be contributing to the legal fund for defense pf Dr. Pou and the two nurses.

    Jim McEwan, CRNA, Dallas, Tx

  • Anonymous

    I just saw the 60 Minutes piece where Dr Pou spoke for the first time. I also saw the pompous Attorney General who just wrecked three dedicated medical professional’s lives.

    I found her official website on this, at http://www.supportdrpou.com.

  • katieuri05

    I just saw the 60 Minutes interview with Dr. Anna Pou. Imagine three days in an abandoned city in a dark hospital with the death toll rising daily. Shouldn’t America be hailing this woman as a hero and not a criminal? She could have run, but she didn’t. She stayed. I believe that makes her a hero.

  • MIGPILOT

    Dr Pou may have had the very best interest of the patients in mind but she has taken the decision from God inot her own hands. No Doctor has that right.

  • Anonymous

    MIGPILOT, I would have loved to have heard the Attorney General’s side other than some sweeping generalizations that sometimes “great people make bad choices” – with a smirk on his face. His medication claims also fall well within the target ranges of making someone comfortable before they die.

    My prediction is that when the State of Louisiana loses this case they are going to be in line for a WHOPPING countersuit. So tragic.

    I guess it would be nice if they would show the defense what evidence they have. The defense can’t even respond yet because the Attorney General won’t even show what their case is.

    -dm

  • Health Care Advocates

    I hope patients realises that if this continue they will be hard presses to find doctors in the future. Doctors are demoralised, have lost faith in their profession.. this is another conviction by an attorney trying to reach his own agenda.. Time we work on them too..

    For more stories:

    http://wihwod.org

  • dmiller

    Friends of Dr Pou have established a web site for her @ http://www.supportdrpou.com.
    There is also a website for nurses Cheri Landry and Lori Budo @ memorialnursessupportfund.com
    Please support these heroes!!!

  • Anonymous

    Am I the only person that thinks that something about this story smells fishy? This Dr. King has said something along the lines of Anna walking around with syringes in her pocket saying “a decision had been made” – basically that she was about to start “taking people out”. Anna Pou weighs about 100 pounds soaking wet. If she truly said something like this and he felt like she was going to start “murdering” patients, what the HELL was he doing watching it? You know why he didn’t do anything – because he never saw Anna do anything other than be a hero.

    I know Anna Pou from her time at UTMB in Galveston. She is an EXCELLENT doctor and as others have said, typically dealt with patients who didn’t have much hope. Doctors who just “throw in the towel” on their patients typically don’t choose Head and Neck Cancer as their specialty. I think this is unbelievable that she could be accused of anything like this.

  • Anonymous

    I am a surgical technologist who worked with Anna Pou at UTMB in Galveston during her last year there. I cannot think of a more compassionate and self-giving surgeon that I have ever worked with. Anna is a morally and ethically sound doctor. I am proud to say that I knew her and respect her more than any other surgeon I have worked with. Anna is not guilty or doing any wrong. They only thing she is ‘guilty’ of is her love and devotion for each of her patients, no matter how hopless their case may be. Anna and the two nurses were the angles those patients needed. God bless all involved and may the truth be known.

  • Anonymous

    Dr. Anna Pou is a murderer who tried to play GOD and lost. Her evil minions just helped her kill innocent people who deserved to live. dr. anna pou should lose her medical license and be forced to live the remainder of her life in poverty because she robbed families of a family member and people of their lives when they went to her for help she just killed them mercilessly.

  • Jade Sanchez M.D.

    Anna Pou is not a doctor. Doctor’s try to help people they dont kill them to end suffering. they end their suffering through medicine. You should only put an animal that is about to die out of its misery. You should not do that to Human Beings who have a family that will come back to bite you. Anna Pou should rot in hell for pretending to be God. She and her 2 nurses deserve to be maimed and rot in jail for life!!

  • camille

    she is a good doctor and a wonderful person. I pray for foti that the truth will set him free.

  • le Vieux

    As an experienced LSU physician who has had a hospital blown down around me by a huricane and as a neighbor and colleague of Dr. Pou in Galveston, I find this atrocious. If you know this doctor and have any understanding of her desperate situation, the legalistic “facts” just don’t matter. The real blame goes to the Louisiana politicians who sat in their air-conditioned offices in Baton Rouge and watched all this, only 80 miles away, without lifting a finger. How can they now point that same finger at this kind, dedicated Lady surgeon.
    Who will stay for the next storm, now? Shame, shame, on Foti.
    Please support Anna.
    le Vieux, Houston

  • Anonymous

    Wow I am devastated reading all this… I am sorry for Dr. Anna Pou… I am embarassed by some of the comments people have left. If you read the feedback of some of her colleages and people who know her its just shocking how someone can leave comments like this.

    Its easy to judge now, but being in there for 5 (FIVE) days, imagine working continuously for five days, not going home, while mayhem is all around you. We can’t imagine what it was like, I am embarassed for this country how they treat their heroes, I am embarassed for the lawyers representing the families.. I am sure the famelies are good people, but some lawyers with some big dollar signs try to make a buck off of some well deserving people.

    I AM EMBARASSED HOW THIS COUNTRY IS TREATING ITS HEROES, I TRULY AM.

    No matter how all this resolves, they all can be sure that there are many many people out there that will keep them in their hearts forever, people who’ll keep fighting until their free.

    Again I am just so embarassed. There are some evil people out there… all this does is make a doctor think twice during a moment of crisis… those voicing negative comments you can pray its not you needing help, reliev when that moment comes.

    Fortunately Live has its ways and means where things always come back to you in one way or another…

  • Anonymous

    She has young children… and they put her in Jail for months…
    I am simply blown away by what’s going on here….

  • Anonymous

    Vote out Foti this fall!

  • Anonymous

    i dont think she was trying to hurt anyone, unless she was having a mental breakdown. even so, lets be merciful to her

  • Anonymous

    Its very disturbing that Anna Pou herself never came clean to say what she did AND why she did. If it was so morally justifiable and the correct thing to do then there should be no reason in lying low.

    Eyewitnesses say she was cavalier in her actions and even REFUSED to undo a DNR order by a patients own pleading daughter!

    All the blind support is troubling.

  • ex-Hollywood Liberal

    My sources tell me that ALL of those who died were uninsured and that Tenet based their decision to pull plugs on whether the victims were insured or not. If true, it will be fairly easy to prove or disprove. If it turns out that all of the deceased patients were uninsured, I suspect that Tenet and Pau will have more to explain.

  • Anonymous

    I wonder why no-one has tried to explain the strange things Pou did like refusing to reverse the DNR order and what Bryant King said. No one has mentioned the opinion of 5 prosecution experts who agreed that levels of lethal substances were so high as to be non-therapeutic. It looks like doctors covering up for each others mistakes again.

    Every comment seems to emphasize how horrible it was – implying that euthanizing patients was a necessary and even commendable action and I find it absolutely disgusting.

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