Wednesday, June 20, 2007

And the witch hunt continues

For five days after Hurricane Katrina, the staff who remained to tend to the patients of Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans toiled under unimaginably harsh conditions. There was no electricity, no water, and no communication about when, if ever, relief would arrive. The temperature soared into the triple digits. Gunshots rang out in the flooded streets below.

Thirty four patients perished at Memorial Medical Center at that time.

Nearly a year after the storm, Dr. Anna Pou, Cheri Landry, RN, and Lori Budo, RN, were arrested, accused of second degree murder in the deaths of four of those patients. Attorney General Charles Foti alleges that they administered lethal doses of Morphine and Versed, with the intent to kill. All have proclaimed their innocence. None have actually been charged. Their personal and professional lives have been turned upside down.

Nearly a year after the arrests, Cheri Landry and Lori Budo have been offered immunity in exchange for their grand jury testimony against Dr. Pou.

Despite my relatively impressive academic background, and despite having been a charge nurse in a Louisiana hospital that lies on a hurricane evacuation route, I would have been completely overwhelmed by the situation at Memorial Medical Center. I have absolutely no idea what I would have done, in those circumstances, for those critically ill patients.

I do not know what actually transpired at that hospital.

I do know that if I was a critically ill patient, stranded by my own government's ineptitude, I'd be praying for a little morphine.

Contributions to Dr. Anna Pou's legal defense fund can be made here.


Anonymous said...

Nice post. I know many nurses who were there. And the doctors did too. They stood by their oath despite the circumstances. Foti is a jerk.

Anonymous said...

I agree. What was the motive? Everyone wanted out of that situation but it wasn't the end of the world. They knew they would get out so there was no reason to kill anyone. Foti is a freak driven by CNN.