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"Katrina" doctor and nurses found guilty of killing patients - Page 2

post #31 of 45
"That is what I thought. The motive cannot be proven. Without motive one cannot be convicted of murder"

No, that is not true at all. According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law, a second-degree murder is "a murder that is committed without premeditation but with some intent or other circumstances not covered by first-degree murder" (first-degree must be committed with premeditation or during a serious felony).
Manslaughter is "the unlawful killing of a human being without malice". I also agree that they should be charged with manslaughter, though probably 1st degree.

Intent means simply that you knew what you were doing would kill someone. It has nothing to do with motive.

There is absolutely no burden to prove any kind of motive whatsoever. Motives are used to help solidify a case, or obtain a warrant when physical or circumstantial evidence is weak. You can be convicted of first-degree murder without anyone ever having a clue why you did it. Again, motive is a kind of evidence. It is not necessary to prove it to convict.
post #32 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom
Motives are used to help solidify a case, or obtain a warrant when physical or circumstantial evidence is weak.
Which is exactly what is happening here. The evidence is too weak to convict for murder (even second-degree murder) without a motive.
post #33 of 45
Jack Kevorkian was convicted of second-degree murder. (Assuming for sake of argument that they actually did what is alleged-- the current case is of course pending and I don't assume anything about their guilt) He also was a doctor who administered lethal doses of medicine knowingly, and believed he was doing the right thing. Nobody ever proved any kind of motive in his "murders" because he had no reason to kill his patients aside from believing it was right to allow his patients to die peacefully when they wanted. Aside from these aspects, the two cases are very very different, most notably in that the patients in New Orleans do not appear to have given consent. However, there is an example of a similar case, with the same charge brought, that got a conviction without any motive.
post #34 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by shengmei
Which is exactly what is happening here. The evidence is too weak to convict for murder (even second-degree murder) without a motive.
You cannot argue that they didn't have a motive to kill. In legal terms, they absolutely did. They were seeking to end the lives of their patients to end their suffering.

[I am not certain how I feel about it personally - there are good reasons to discourage medical personnel from playing god, but at the same time, I am inclined to think it may have been the lesser of two evils.]
post #35 of 45
There is a motive but it cannot be proven. There is no way to prove that someone is "playing god" by simply discovering large quantities of drugs in their dead patients.

The defense can argue all kinds of things. I once saw on Court TV someone successfully convinced jurors he accidentially used the higher concentration formulas when he was charged with murdering his patients.
post #36 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by shengmei
There is a motive but it cannot be proven. There is no way to prove that someone is "playing god" by simply discovering large quantities of drugs in their dead patients.

The defense can argue all kinds of things. I once saw on Court TV someone successfully convinced jurors he accidentially used the higher concentration formulas when he was charged with murdering his patients.
Ok, a second ago you were arguing that there was no motive, now you are arguing that there is a motive, but it can't be proven.

Motives aren't proven - motives are motive! They are suggested as a reasoning behind why a particular person or persons would commit a particular crime.

Motives, means, and oppurtunity: a person had a reason to do it, the tools to do it, and a chance to do it - they aren't proof, they are part of building the case.

In any case, it's somewhat moot - the accused don't seem to be denying that they did what they are accused of, just that it wasn't wrong.

Also, legality is seperate from morality: whether something is right or wrong doesn't make it legal or illegal. Slavery, for example, was legal until relatively recently, marital rape was legal until very recently (early 1990s in Ireland and UK).

Whether what they did was wrong or not, it's hard to argue that it wasn't illegal.

Politically speaking (which is seperate again from legality and morality) it would probably be easiest if it never made it to trial.

If it does make it to trial - well, juries are an unpredicable lot, and while their decisions have legal force, the decisions don't necessarily represent law as it exists on the books.
post #37 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckiboo
Here is an older article, but there are lots of details.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=5219917

And another from Fox.
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,204115,00.html

I am a psych nurse, working in an outpatient clinic. I believe if the doc and nurses administered lethal doses they were wrong. One woman (McManus) had her daughter at her bedside. If they wanted to give her the option of offering her Mom lethal doses, they could have involved her. Another 61 yr old man was alert...again, they could have discussed the situation with him, and let him make the choice.

Medical professionals are faced with dilemmas every day. They do not have the authority to act as they wish...it is the patient and the family who get to decide. To me those in NO crossed the line into criminal behavior if they gave lethal doses of medication. They should have kept pushing for the additional 4 or 9 people to be evacuated. Perhaps they still would have died, but it wouldn't have been at their hands.

I cannot forsee being in the position, but if a doctor gave me an order to administer a lethal dose of medication, I would refuse. I became a nurse to help people, not to kill them.

Maybe the doctor or nurse or whoever did ask for it to be done after the circumstances were explained to them. How would we know?
post #38 of 45
i am still working over the articles. However my opinion on human PTS as it were, has always been we will do it for our animals, we do not allow them to suffer. Yet we will allow our human loved ones to sit and suffer painful, painful deaths. Thats wrong. More wrong than helping ease the suffering to the otherside. My grandpa died of terminal cancer and in the end, he was in more pain than i could ever imagine, 'pain control be darned" he was suffering. horribly. And i will never forget that.
post #39 of 45
What makes me wonder is how do they know the cocktail and the proportion of drugs needed to be administered for someone to die?

Why the cocktail? Why not just a single drug? Everyone responds differently to a medication. Giving them a mixture of two medications is just too much variables for me.

Are there any research papers that document exactly what happens when those two drugs are administered together in high doses?
post #40 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScamperFarms
i am still working over the articles. However my opinion on human PTS as it were, has always been we will do it for our animals, we do not allow them to suffer. Yet we will allow our human loved ones to sit and suffer painful, painful deaths. Thats wrong. More wrong than helping ease the suffering to the otherside. My grandpa died of terminal cancer and in the end, he was in more pain than i could ever imagine, 'pain control be darned" he was suffering. horribly. And i will never forget that.
Yes, I know what you mean. My best friend's dad had to be in a comatose situation before he was given the "big dose" of morphine - my friend called me in tears, the family was begging the poor father to "please just go" - it was so awful! And I can't begin to write what my poor nephew went thru on 3 days of life support.......
post #41 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by shengmei
What makes me wonder is how do they know the cocktail and the proportion of drugs needed to be administered for someone to die?

Why the cocktail? Why not just a single drug? Everyone responds differently to a medication. Giving them a mixture of two medications is just too much variables for me.

Are there any research papers that document exactly what happens when those two drugs are administered together in high doses?
Wouldn't people like doctors and nurses know that? So they don't kill someone?
post #42 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by shengmei
What makes me wonder is how do they know the cocktail and the proportion of drugs needed to be administered for someone to die?

Why the cocktail? Why not just a single drug? Everyone responds differently to a medication. Giving them a mixture of two medications is just too much variables for me.

Are there any research papers that document exactly what happens when those two drugs are administered together in high doses?
Executions are also carried out by the injection of a "cocktail", and I would assume that you'd find that information if you looked into "lethal injection".
post #43 of 45
They combined morphine and a sedative. Most people are aware that a high enough dose of either of those would kill you. Sedatives and painkillers are the most popular drugs used in suicide attempts by pill too.

Sedatives and painkillers (or alcohol) have multiplying effects on each other. Meaning, together they would lower the dose needed to become lethal.

There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support your ideas about what happened, Shengmei. If you can dig something up I'd love to see it.
post #44 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Godiva
Maybe the doctor or nurse or whoever did ask for it to be done after the circumstances were explained to them. How would we know?
I think if they had gotten consent, they would have asked for it in writing. But that may be what the lawyers will argue.

I believe the combination of drugs was given to sedate and put the person to sleep painlessly, then kill them. As Crystal said, as you learn how to treat people to cure them, you also clearly see how you could kill them.

As for the arguement about painlessly euthanizing people...how would anyone here feel if their family member was euthanized without their consent? That would be so painful to me. My Mom died of a brain tumor, and it was pretty ugly at times. She was at a hospice, so they tend to be more geared towards a peaceful ending than unnecessarily prolonging life...but she did not want to be "helped" along, or to have her death hastened medically.

Of course it could also be argued...would I have wanted her abandoned in an empty hospital that had been flooded? Not at all. But I would not want to be made to leave her bedside with reassurance that she would be evacuated,then have her killed. That would be very hard to accept for any family member.
post #45 of 45
You're right Beckiboo it would be very hard to leave the hospital believing everything would be okay and then suddenly find out what had really happened. But, many of the people on the floor were dead and it would be hard to argue that leaving that floor everyone thought it would be okay. I also would have given my consent...

Has there been any protest from any family members aside from the one woman?
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