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September 13, 2005

Euthanasia In New Orleans?

(Cross Posted on Hidden Nook)

(Catholic World News) A doctor from hurricane-ravaged New Orleans has admitted to euthanizing patients, rather than leaving them to potential death at the hands of looters...

"They would have been dead within hours, if not days. We did not put people down. What we did was give comfort to the end," the doctor said. (Source*)

The doctor claimed that their behavior was an act of "compassion," although it is interesting that nothing was mentioned on gaining the consent of family members or at least the individual (at least they attempt to do that in the Netherlands). All of the patients were given morphine shots, and if the first one failed, a second dose was implemented to ensure that the patient "died with dignity."

(Catholic World News) The report was corroborated by other witnesses, including local government officials and a hospital orderly. Emergency worker William 'Forest' McQueen supported the move by the doctors. "Those who had no chance of making it were given a lot of morphine and lain down in a dark place to die," he said.

With the federal government focusing on evacuating New Orleans, one wonders whether or not the justice department will investigate this "act of kindness" as the doctors have not only stepped beyond their own code of ethics but also the law as well (as this probably is not a case of willful suicide). The fact that local government officials virtually sanctioned such practices to operate in their presence speaks volumes as to their attitude towards the weak in society, especially the elderly.

But what is more astounding is the fact that there is no outcry amongst the public, and no demands of justice being shouted by the media elite. Since the media is keeping the doctor's name secret, family members may have a hard time finding out who exactly is responsible and urge authorities to press charges. After all, if this isn't murder, than what is?

Posted by hiddennook at September 13, 2005 11:37 PM

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