Murder or Mercy at New Orleans Hospital?


Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti has accused two nurses and a doctor of fatally injecting four patients at the Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Nurses Laurie Budo and Sherrie Landry, and Dr. Anna Pou intentionally killed four patients using a lethal cocktail of painkillers, Foti said.

"They came in there and said they were taking charge and ... administered drugs that killed these patients," Foti told "Good Morning America" in a morning exclusive.

More than 200 patients in the medical center were left without electricity for four days after the hurricane as temperatures soared to more than 100 degrees.

Angela McManus' 70-year-old mother, Wilda Fay, was one of 34 patients who died during the crisis.

"I don't believe that a person with a sane mind could make this decision," she said.

What's the Moral Choice?

Foti said that what the doctor and nurse did is homicide, not euthanasia. If they are convicted of second-degree murder, they could face life in prison.

In an interview in December, Pou said many patients in the acute care unit had orders not to resuscitate.

"In other words, if they died, to allow them to die naturally, and not to use heroic methods to resuscitate them," she said.

Medical ethics experts said the hospital staff faced the ultimate dilemma.

"How do we care for patients when you feel you have no options?" said Dr. Laurie Zoloth of Northwestern University. "What should be a moral choice you make?"

ABC News' Mike Von Fremd contributed to this report.

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