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From the article: According to the court document, the morphine was paired with midazolam hydrochloride, known by its brand name Versed. Both drugs are central nervous system depressants. Taken together, Foti said, they become "a lethal cocktail that guarantees that you die."

Boy let's hope this numbnuts doesn't find out that we use that combo thousands of times every day in OR's around the US.

-Mike
 

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I remember hearing about something like this in my ethics class a few weeks after the hurricane (it may have been the same case). The professor stressed that the patients who died were dependent on machines (I assume he meant ventilators etc) that were not working in the post-hurricane disaster zone that was New Orleans.

The CNN article seems extremely biased against the doctor and nurses, with phrases like "They pretended they were God" heading the article. The implication that the patients were euthanized in order to "speed evacuation" is also disturbing.
 
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I am curious what they feel is a "fatal dose" of morphine that can be tested postmortem by a lab. Some patients can handle massive doses of morphine without ill effect. I also loved the editor's note at the end bragging about CNN's Emmy for thier reports "Death at Memorial." So they have no reason to sensationalize this mess.
 

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After reading the NY Times article about this, I was thinking about how it illustrated another divide between doctors and laypeople. The media makes it sound like the doctor/nurses were running around willy-nilly doling out death drugs to poor unsuspecting patients who would be leading fulfilling lives today if not for them.

But if you think about the circumstances, they're really trying to prevent gruesome deaths to patients (in 100+ degree hospital rooms) who can't make it out while everyone else is saving their own butts. If it weren't illegal, I'm sure many healthcare professionals would do the same thing in that situation.
 
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saradoor

Chinorean said:
After reading the NY Times article about this, I was thinking about how it illustrated another divide between doctors and laypeople. The media makes it sound like the doctor/nurses were running around willy-nilly doling out death drugs to poor unsuspecting patients who would be leading fulfilling lives today if not for them.

But if you think about the circumstances, they're really trying to prevent gruesome deaths to patients (in 100+ degree hospital rooms) who can't make it out while everyone else is saving their own butts. If it weren't illegal, I'm sure many healthcare professionals would do the same thing in that situation.
Agree 100%

Common law has long provided many precedence on the necessity of *illegal* actions. For example,
  • Steven M. Bauer & Peter J. Eckerstrom, The State Made Me Do It: The Applicability of the Necessity Defense to Civil Disobedience, 39 Stan. L. Rev. 1173 (1987), 472
  • Eric Colvin, Exculpatory Defences in Criminal Law, 10 Oxford J. Legal Stud. 381 (1990) , 486
  • Joshua Dressler, Exegis of the Law of Duress: Justifying the Excuse and Searching for its Proper Limits, 62 S. Cal. L. Rev. 1331 (1989), 488
  • D.W. Elliott, Necessity, Duress and Self-Defence, 1989 Crim. L. Rev. 611, 476
  • Lon L. Fuller, The Case of the Speluncean Explorers, 62 Harv. L. Rev. 616 (1949), 462
  • Jeremy Horder, Autonomy, Provocation and Duress, 1992 Crim. L. Rev. 707, 487
  • Nicola M. Padfield, Duress, Necessity and the Law Commission, 1992 Crim. L. Rev. 778 , 479
  • Alan Reed, Excuses to Murder: Salutary Lessons from Recent Anglo-American Jurisprudence, 6 J. Transnat'l L. & Pol'y 51 (1997), 477
  • K.J.M. Smith & William Wilson, Impaired Voluntariness andCriminal Responsibility: Reworking Hart's Theory of Excuses--TheEnglish Judicial Response, 13 Oxford J. Legal Stud. 69 (1993) , 485
  • K.J.M. Smith, Must Heroes Behave Heroically?, 1980 Crim. L. Rev. 622, 490
 

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Chinorean said:
After reading the NY Times article about this, I was thinking about how it illustrated another divide between doctors and laypeople. The media makes it sound like the doctor/nurses were running around willy-nilly doling out death drugs to poor unsuspecting patients who would be leading fulfilling lives today if not for them.

But if you think about the circumstances, they're really trying to prevent gruesome deaths to patients (in 100+ degree hospital rooms) who can't make it out while everyone else is saving their own butts. If it weren't illegal, I'm sure many healthcare professionals would do the same thing in that situation.
Agreed, 100%. The family members/lay people don't understand the conditions their loved ones were in. They were going to die anyway, from the sounds of it - no electricity, 100 degrees, manually ventilating patients, unable to open windows, plumbing not functioning correctly, etc. Nothing the healthcare workers could have done would've changed that outcome, except for electricity, etc... and, they didn't have any. I guess the next time there's a disaster, the staff will just let patients scream, moan and groan in pain and misery before they die.
 

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saradoor said:
Agree 100%

Common law has long provided many precedence on the necessity of *illegal* actions. For example,
  • Steven M. Bauer & Peter J. Eckerstrom, The State Made Me Do It: The Applicability of the Necessity Defense to Civil Disobedience, 39 Stan. L. Rev. 1173 (1987), 472
  • Eric Colvin, Exculpatory Defences in Criminal Law, 10 Oxford J. Legal Stud. 381 (1990) , 486
  • Joshua Dressler, Exegis of the Law of Duress: Justifying the Excuse and Searching for its Proper Limits, 62 S. Cal. L. Rev. 1331 (1989), 488
  • D.W. Elliott, Necessity, Duress and Self-Defence, 1989 Crim. L. Rev. 611, 476
  • Lon L. Fuller, The Case of the Speluncean Explorers, 62 Harv. L. Rev. 616 (1949), 462
  • Jeremy Horder, Autonomy, Provocation and Duress, 1992 Crim. L. Rev. 707, 487
  • Nicola M. Padfield, Duress, Necessity and the Law Commission, 1992 Crim. L. Rev. 778 , 479
  • Alan Reed, Excuses to Murder: Salutary Lessons from Recent Anglo-American Jurisprudence, 6 J. Transnat'l L. & Pol'y 51 (1997), 477
  • K.J.M. Smith & William Wilson, Impaired Voluntariness andCriminal Responsibility: Reworking Hart's Theory of Excuses--TheEnglish Judicial Response, 13 Oxford J. Legal Stud. 69 (1993) , 485
  • K.J.M. Smith, Must Heroes Behave Heroically?, 1980 Crim. L. Rev. 622, 490
I don't think Louisiana uses common law...
 

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Law2Doc said:
I don't think Louisiana uses common law...
It doesn't. I think it uses Napoleonic Law.
 
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saradoor

Law2Doc said:
I don't think Louisiana uses common law...
You are right. I did not know that Louisana is different from the other states! Thank you for the correction.

For the benefits of the other SDNers who might not know this either:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louisiana
excerpt:
"From its time as a possession of France, Louisiana retains a civil law legal system, based on the Louisiana Civil Code, which is similar to (and often confused with) the Napoleonic Code (like France, and unlike the rest of the United States, which uses a common law legal system derived from England). Also derived from French governance is the use of the term "parishes" in place of "counties" for the subdivisions of government."
 

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White doctors euthanizing poor black patients fleeing from a hurricane. That's not going to go down well.
 
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