Louisiana Attorney General Won’t Drop Hurricane Katrina Euthanasia Case

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 26, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Louisiana Attorney General Won’t Drop Hurricane Katrina Euthanasia Case Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
July 26
, 2007

Baton Rouge, LA (LifeNews.com) — Just one day after a grand jury decided not to indict Dr. Anna Pou on charges that she allegedly euthanized patients in the dreadful aftermath following Hurricane Katrina, the state’s attorney general will not drop the case. Attorney General Charles Foti has asked a state judge to release previously sealed documents.

Foti wants the judge to release documents that has been used in the investigation of the deaths at Memorial Medical Center. The documents were sealed when Foti gave Judge Calvin Johnson the search warrants, subpoena requests and other records in January 2006.

Judge Johnson set a hearing for August 6 on Foti’s request.

Foti’s actions are coming under fire from Pou’s attorney, Rick Simmons, who told AP, "This is just character assassination without the opportunity to cross-examine or defend against it."

AP reports that Foti is denying that any politics or vindication of his own probe may be playing a role in his request to have the records unsealed.

"I really don’t care how it affects my candidacy for re-election," he said.

Responding to the decision to drop the case against Pou, Foti said the grand jury made a mistake and blamed the Parish district attorney’s office for not calling top witnesses to testify in the case. That included five medical experts he consulted.

Four patients were alleged to have been killed via euthanasia in the wake of the storm and two nurses, Cheri Landry and Lori Budo, saw their charges dismissed when they agreed to testify before a grand jury.

Just before the decision not to charge Pou, hundreds of New Orleans residents protested against the investigation. Pou was not at the rally, but Budo and Landry were in the crowd.

Pou has filed a lawsuit against the state of Louisiana and Foti for putting her under investigation for so long but bringing no charges in the case. But Foti’s office says he is not named in the lawsuit.