Doctors Accused of Euthanasia of Hurricane Katrina Victims

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 13, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Doctors Accused of Euthanasia of Hurricane Katrina Victims Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 13, 2005

New Orleans, LA ( — As doctors fled the city of New Orleans, ravaged by Hurricane Katrina and overcome by looters, chaos and disease, a leading British newspaper says doctors treating severely wounded patient euthanized them rather than transport them to another facility for additional treatment.

Emergency worker William "Forest" McQueen told the London Daily Mail, "Those who had no chance of making it were given a lot of morphine and lain down in a dark place to die."

McQueen, a utility worker from a New Orleans suburb, told relatives of those who died that doctors had them "put down" and said medical officials "injected them, but nurses stayed with them until they died."

Euthanasia and assisted suicide are illegal in Louisiana as well as every other state in the country, except for Oregon, where doctors may aide patients in killing themselves.

Though the newspaper kept the doctors’ names anonymous, it interviewed one physician who said, "I didn’t know if I was doing the right thing. But I did not have time."

"I had to make snap decisions, under the most appalling circumstances, and I did what I thought was right," the doctor told the London newspaper.

"I injected morphine into those patients who were dying and in agony. If the first dose was not enough, I gave a double dose. And at night I prayed to God to have mercy on my soul," the doctor confessed.

"This was not murder. This was compassion. I had cancer patients who were in agony," the physician said.

The doctor told the Daily Mail that medical personnel triaged patients into three categories — those who would likely survive, those who needed urgent care, and those who had no hope of living.

Some patients reportedly had makeshift "do not resuscitate" signs placed on them.