Vindicated Katrina Doc Tells Her Story

A riveting interview from Newsweek:

The tragic deaths at New Orleans’s Memorial Medical Center after Hurricane Katrina are among the most notorious examples of the vast human suffering that resulted from the destruction of the levees and the flooding of the city—and the government’s incompetent response to the disaster. At least 34 people died in the hospital awaiting evacuation and it wasn’t long before dark rumors began circulating that some of them were helped along by lethal doses of morphine or other medication. Almost a year after the storm, in July 2006, authorities arrested Dr. Anna Pou, a well-known head and neck surgeon. She was eventually accused of murdering nine patients who were in a long-term acute care unit on the seventh floor run by LifeCare Hospital of New Orleans. (Two nurses were also arrested but their charges were later dropped.)

Late last month, a Louisiana grand jury refused to indict Pou and the highly controversial criminal case came to a close. Pou still faces several civil lawsuits brought by relatives of patients who died while at LifeCare. In her most extensive comments yet on the events surrounding those deaths, Pou tells NEWSWEEK’s Julie Scelfo that she did indeed administer morphine and a sedative to the nine patients and she knew that these medication might hasten their deaths. But, she says, killing them was not her intention. In the desperate calculation Pou and other medical professionals were forced to make in the chaos and madness that engulfed the hospital, she says some patients could be saved and others were almost certain to die. It was their suffering Pou says she sought to alleviate.

(Thanks PVC)