Is this really what happened or just another bit of misinformation or exaggeration from the early days of Katrina?
Doctors: Hurricane Katrina Forced Us to Kill Patients
Monday, Sept. 12, 2005
Doctors working in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans killed critically ill patients rather than leave them behind to die in agony as they evacuated hospitals, according to a shocking report in the respected British newspaper the Daily Mail.
One emergency official who spoke on the record, William "Forest" McQueen, told the Mail: "Those who had no chance of making it were given a lot of morphine and lain down in a dark place to die."
McQueen, a utility manager for the town of Abita Springs near New Orleans, told relatives that patients had been "put down," saying medical personnel "injected them, but nurses stayed with them until they died."
The Mail did not name the other members of the medical staff interviewed by the newspaper in order to protect their identities. Euthanasia is illegal in Louisiana.
One doctor said: "I didn't know if I was doing the right thing. But I did not have time. I had to make snap decisions, under the most appalling circumstances, and I did what I thought was right.
"I injected morphine into those patients who were dying and in agony. If the first dose was not enough, I gave a double dose. And at night I prayed to God to have mercy on my soul.
"This was not murder. This was compassion. I had cancer patients who were in agony."
The doctor said medical staffers divided patients into three categories: those who were medically fit enough to survive, those who needed urgent care, and the dying, the Mail reported.
"It came down to giving people the basic human right to die with dignity," said the doctor.
"There were patients with ‘Do Not Resuscitate' signs. Under normal circumstances, some could have lasted several days. But when the power went out, we had nothing.
"Some of the very sick became distressed. We tried to make them as comfortable as possible.
"You have to understand, these people were going to die anyway." According to the Mail, the confessions of the medical staff "are an indictment of the appalling failure of American authorities to help those in desperate need after Hurricane Katrina flooded the city."