Tuesday Links

Blaine Kern Artists improperly received $1 million in tax credits for building floats, auditor reports ~ Jeff Adelson

This Rich Rainey story from late last month on JPAC is worth visiting. I belatedly mention Rich’s story as it is both topical here on Slabbed and because it came out of the blue as the JPAC debacle has fallen out of the news cycle.  One thing everyone needs to do is read the Legislative Auditor’s report on the JPAC boondoggle.  PDF page 26 (report page 23) of the report contains the reason there is talk about Jefferson Parish Councilman at Large Elton Lagasse role in the JPAC debacle receiving investigative scrutiny given we now know Tim Whitmer is cooperating with the Feds.

Cowardly court backs off Memorial case ~ James Gill

The whole problem with the argument that gives Memorial Hospital a pass in the large number of deaths that happened post Katrina at the hospital is that conditions were also very bad across the city including at other hospitals, like Charity Hospital which was also flooded out.  I profiled in depth the plight of the staff and patients at Charity post Katrina,  including the fact their morgue was not piled over with dead patients like Memorial’s. The defamation suit filed by the memorial docs against ProPublica and the New York Times over subsequent reporting of the tragedy went nowhere. It also appears the Times Picayune’s efforts to get to the Grand Jury documents in the case are also at an end. The lawsuit filed by the victim’s families against Memorial Hospital settled last July which means we’ve likely heard the last of this in the news cycle.

I have a busy day on tap here in Soggy Bottom. Feel free to add your own links in comments.


Slabbed updates Dr Death and an ill advised lawsuit.

Folks I know we swim against public opinion on this topic but we continue to hope the unfortunate patients at Memorial Hospital receive a measure of justice. We covered the New York Times story, which took a critical look at the events here, and contrasted Dr Life with Dr Death in a post that also covered the ill-advised lawsuit which contained actual reader pics from Charity Hospital here. Robin Fields of ProPublica has the story for the Times Picayune:

A ruling issued Wednesday by a federal judge in Louisiana will effectively result in the dismissal of a libel lawsuit filed last year against ProPublica and the New York Times.

The case concerned “The Deadly Choices at Memorial,” an article written by ProPublica’s Sheri Fink and published in August in The New York Times Magazine.

The story reported how, in the chaos after Hurricane Katrina, some health professionals at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans injected severely ill patients — more patients than had previously been known — with lethal doses of drugs. Continue reading “Slabbed updates Dr Death and an ill advised lawsuit.”

Catching up with the news. Memorial Doc Sues the New York Times. Dr Life v Dr Death, a Study in Contrasts

To paraphrase our very good friend Editilla, We Coulda been a Contenda Sports Blog, and indeed some of my favorite posts from a response standpoint have delved into other issues and not the financial ones that are my passion. My post from last month on the New York Times story on the Memorial docs after Katrina is an example of that though it didn’t generate on blog comments as much as a firestorm of off blog emails. I wanted to follow-up but the news cycle on the subject has again gone dark so despite being loaded with killer information on the happenings at the NOLA area hospitals in the days immediately after the great flood caused by the levee failures during Katrina I had no basis in the news cycle to publish the information.  I also had to laugh at the reaction to the original post too because one of our most loyal readers found out his bro also reads us though they had vastly differing takes on the events at Memorial Hospital after Katrina. (You guys know who you are so be sweet to each other ;-))

Katrina 365
Courtesy of a reader. Charity Hospital Patient is Evacuated by Boat

Before I contrast Dr Life with my prior post on Dr Death lets begin with the story that broke last week on the Times Picayune concerning Dr. William Armington’s libel suit against the New York Times:

A doctor who was at Memorial Medical Center in the days after Hurricane Katrina has filed a federal libel suit claiming an article published in The New York Times Magazine in August defamed him by suggesting he knew of euthanasia at the hospital and failed to stop it.

The lawsuit filed by Dr. William Armington, a neuroradiologist who previously practiced in the New Orleans area and now lives in Oregon, claims the article “propagated false, misleading, and damaging statements, directly or through inference and innuendo, that Dr. Armington was aware of, participated in, and failed to stop criminal homicide or criminal manslaughter at Memorial Medical Center.”

The lawsuit is filed against the Times, the author, Dr. Sheri Fink, and ProPublica.org, a nonprofit news organization where Fink works. A spokeswoman for the Times said in an e-mail that the paper is “confident the story is accurate,” adding, “We intend to defend the suit vigorously.” Richard Tofel, general manager for ProPublica, made a similar pledge. Continue reading “Catching up with the news. Memorial Doc Sues the New York Times. Dr Life v Dr Death, a Study in Contrasts”

“Dr Death” Anna Pou gets a second looksie

I was recently emailed the link to the recent NY Times Magazine article on Dr Pou which took a fresh look at the actions of several of the Docs at Memorial Hospital after Katrina and as one particularily well placed reader in the NOLA area put it, the emergent facts are “most disturbing”.

Minyard told me that his feelings were less sympathetic than he let Pou know. He believed he would have at least tried to save Emmett Everett. There must have been a way to get the 380-pound man downstairs, he said he thought. It also bothered Minyard that documentation suggested that few of the elderly patients who died were being treated for pain.

Minyard reached out to the noted University of Pennsylvania bioethicist Arthur Caplan for more advice. Caplan reviewed the records and concluded that all nine LifeCare patients on the seventh floor were euthanized, and that the way the drugs were given was “not consistent with the ethical standards of palliative care that prevail in the United States.” Those standards are clear, Caplan wrote, in that the death of a patient cannot be the goal of a doctor’s treatment.

Evidently New Orleans DA Leon Cannizzaro thinks so as well as it was announced that his office has reopened the criminal investigation of the events at Memorial Hospital. Even better for the cause of justice is that a drunk won’t be in charge of running it.

Will Dr Pou’s use of the local State Farm defense law firm and PR firm Continue reading ““Dr Death” Anna Pou gets a second looksie”