The nurses charged with murder in the Memorial Hospital case have gotten themselves some smart attorneys. They're obviously not going to let the prosecution be the only ones with their side in Da Paper:
Katrina nurses called victims of justice 'Their performance has always been exemplary' Sunday, July 23, 2006 By Jeffrey Meitrodt
Every Thanksgiving, Cheri Landry gets a card from Marian Busse, who can never get through the holiday season without remembering the nurse who helped save her son's life in 1990.
"At Thanksgiving, our family is always together, and I am always thankful that we are six people and not five people," said Busse, whose son Laurence was given a 3 percent chance of surviving the burns that covered his body after a fiery car accident on St. Charles Avenue. "Without her, I am not sure we could have survived as a family. I know my son would not have survived had she not paid such good attention to him."
Such testimonials about Landry and Lori Budo, her co-worker at Memorial Medical Center, are flowing in the wake of their arrest on second-degree murder allegations related to the post-Katrina deaths of four patients at the hospital.
The article is more than just the stories of would-be character witnesses, it goes after the Attorney General's case as well:
Attorney General Charles Foti has accused the nurses and Dr. Anna Pou, a surgeon at Memorial, of deliberately administering lethal doses of medicine to four elderly patients in the hospital's acute care unit after Katrina hit last August.
"This is a homicide; it is not euthanasia," Foti said Tuesday at a Baton Rouge news conference announcing the arrests.
Former patients and co-workers said they can't reconcile the accusations with the extraordinary work they've witnessed since Landry and Budo went to work at the hospital more than 20 years ago.
Moreover, one of the city's leading heart specialists said investigators have grossly mischaracterized the physical evidence. Foti's investigators suggest their case for murder hinges on the presence in the autopsied corpses of morphine, a powerful painkiller, and Versed, a sedative commonly used during surgery.
It's hard to figure out what's going on with Foti in this case. As Criminal Sheriff, he's never been directly involved in pro-life issues, so his opinions on these haven't been all that visible. There's more to this than meets the eye, to be sure, but it's so difficult to see what. The religious forces in the state will want to characterize any euthanasia case as homicide to shut down any legitimization of the concept. Then there's the business of health care. Memorial's pending sale to Ochsner Healthcare might be moving management to throw the doc and these two nurses under a bus.
It's disappointing to read an article such as this, because it indicates how little the truth can have to do with a criminal case in our judicial system.
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