Posted Dec. 22, 2005 – Did hospital workers resort to killing hospital patients in the days after hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans? Louisiana's attorney general said that the allegations are "credible and worth investigating," CNN has reported.
A source close to the investigation, who did not want to be identified, told CNN that several people are being investigated as possible persons of interest for crimes related to euthanasia that may have been committed at Memorial Medical Center, the network reported.
In October, CNN said that hospital staff talked about who should and should not be evacuated.
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One woman, who was at the hospital with her critically ill mother, said she heard nurses talking about not evacuating patients who had signed "do not resuscitate " forms, CNN reported.
In another instance, a contract physician for the hospital, Dr. Bryant King, told the network that he remembered another doctor suggesting putting patients "out of their misery." King told CNN he refused to do it, but another doctor was willing.
The investigation is looking into whether medical personnel were scared of the turmoil in the city, fearing they would be targets of violence as conditions grew worse in and outside of the hospital, CNN reported.
Memorial Medical Center had initially been a haven for up to 2,000 people, but in the days after Katrina slammed New Orleans, hope began to fade. Food was running low, there was no water, and patients grew weaker.
The Attorney General's Office has sent tissue samples of recovered bodies to a private lab for testing, CNN reported. One of the tests to be performed is to see if fatal doses of morphine were in the bodies of any of the dead.
Do you believe staff committed "mercy killings" of Katrina patients? Are there any circumstances when euthanasia is justified?