Doctor Charged in Katrina Deaths Denies Committing Murder

The doctor accused, along with two nurses, of murdering four patients in a New Orleans hospital in the days following hurricane Katrina has denied the accusations. She also said she does not believe in euthanasia.

Arrested and charged with four counts of second-degree murder for lethally injecting patients during a panicked exit from the flooded Memorial Medical Center, Dr. Anna Pou insists she and the two nurses only gave “comfort care” to the elderly patients.

“It is unbelievable shocking for me that I am actually sitting here having this conversation with you on national TV,” said Dr. Pou in an interview with Morley Safer for CBS on Sunday September 24. “And I want everyone to know that I am not a murderer; that we are not murderers.”

“I do not believe in euthanasia. I don’t think that it’s anyone’s decision to make when a patient dies…” she said later in the interview. “What I do believe in is comfort care, and that means that we ensure that they do not suffer pain.”

Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti, Jr. charged Dr. Pou and nurses Cheri Landry and Lori Budo last July with causing the deaths of four patients, among the 34 found dead in the Memorial Medical Center following the hurricane.

According to a case affidavit, witnesses have testified that, led by Dr. Pou, the three took syringes and drugs to a ward for the chronically-ill on the seventh floor of the hospital, where they injected four patients with a “lethal cocktail” of drugs.

“People can’t presume to act for you and take your life, and the allegation is that they committed homicide on these four people,” said Foti. “People testified… We then spent almost 10½ months investigating and, after all of this, can only come to the conclusion that this crime had been committed.”

According to Foti, lethal amounts of painkillers morphine and Versed were found in the patients during post-mortems.

“When you use both of them together, it becomes a lethal cocktail and guarantees they’re going to die,” said Foti.

“This is not euthanasia. This is plain and simple homicide.”

The patients were considered too ill to be evacuated from the facility, which had been operating without power or adequate supplies for four days of 110-degree heat, under conditions that had already contributed to the deaths of several patients.

Foti told CBS he took hospital conditions into consideration when he made the decision to press charges.

Dr. Pou is a head and neck surgeon with 15 years experience, who specializes in working with cancer patients.

(This article courtesy of

Subscribe to CE
(It's free)

Go to Catholic Exchange homepage