Tuesday, October 18, 2005

New Orleans nursing home deaths probed

Some disturbing allegations are coming out of Louisiana regarding the deaths of 215 hospital and nursing home patients during the Katrina evacuation:

Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti and several national and international media outlets are investigating the deaths – some say killings – of patients at New Orleans hospitals and health care facilities during the evacuation of that city in advance of Hurricane Katrina in late August.

Charges aired last week on CNN claim that some New Orleans patients may have been euthanized – purposely killed -- during the Katrina evacuation.

These charges have sparked a wide ranging investigation by Louisiana's attorney general into the fate of critically ill patients who were left behind during the chaotic prelude and aftermath of the storm.

As reported in USA Today, the state investigation is part of a "monumental" probe into an estimated 215 deaths at nursing homes and hospitals across the area, according to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.

NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams also featured a report Monday night on the expanded probe into the hospital deaths.

On August 31, Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans was surrounded by 10 feet of flood water without either electricity or plumbing, the hospital's CEO Rene Goux told CNN back on September 9.

"We had about 160 seriously ill, bed-ridden patients left inside," Goux told the cable news network.

Those patients, suffering from cancer and heart conditions, were so sick that one doctor alleges staffers discussed euthanizing them with injected drugs in an act of so-called "mercy killing" for the infirm. This doctor said he saw another doctor holding syringes, supposedly with the intent to follow-up on the idea of euthanasia.

Dr. Bryant King, a medical doctor at Memorial who had worked there for a month, told CNN one medical staffer spoke to him directly about this possibility.

"She said, ‘Well, you know, we talked about it, and this other doctor said she'd be willing to, she would be willing to do it.' And I was like, ‘You're crazy!'"

These are the fruits of the "culture of death" thinking that has become so popular in recent years. When someone else's life becomes a burden to others, simply eliminate the problem. Didn't they try this in Germany a while back?

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