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Grand jury refuses to indict doctor in Hurricane Katrina hospital deaths

[JURIST] An Orleans Parish grand jury Tuesday refused to indict Dr. Anna Pou [advocacy website] on charges of killing four patients at the Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive]. Pou and two nurses were arrested [JURIST report] last year, with prosecutors arguing that they had committed second-degree murder. The charges against the nurses were dropped after they were forced to testify against Pou with the understanding that their testimonies could not be used against them.

Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti [official website] last fall 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. Prosecutors suspected that Pou and the two nurses had euthanized the patients while they waited to be rescued. AP has more.

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