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Louisiana arrests three in Katrina hospital deaths probe

[JURIST] Louisiana officials arrested a doctor and two nurses Monday night in connection with patient deaths at the Memorial Medical Center [hospital website] in New Orleans just after Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive] hit last year. Though prosecutors have not formally charged the three - Dr. Anna Pou, Cheri Landry and Laura Bubo - a spokesman for Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti [official website] said Tuesday that they had committed second-degree murder, not "mercy killings."

Last fall, Foti launched an investigation [JURIST report] into the deaths of at least 140 patients at six Louisiana hospitals and 13 nursing homes at the time of Katrina. Foti later subpoenaed 73 Memorial employees [JURIST report] as part of the ongoing investigation, as at least 34 of the patient deaths occurred at Memorial. Prosecutors suspect that the three euthanized the patients while they waited to be rescued. AP has more. From New Orleans, the Times-Picayune has local coverage.

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