What Others Say

BOOKS

Code Blue: A Katrina Physician's Memoir was written by Dr. Richard Deichmann, the Chief of Medicine at Memorial who directed the triage system whereby the DNR patients, while still receiving care, were given the lowest priority for evacuation. Nowhere in this book is there support for Fink's suggestion that doctors were evacuated last so there would be no witnesses to euthanasia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Katrina Through Our Eyes: Stories from Inside Baptist Hospital is Lori Budo's account of those days. Lori Budo was arrested by Foti at the same time Dr. Pou was, but later cleared. Budo recounts the TRUTH about the inspirational experiences of the nurses and their families who were trapped at Memorial, without the conclusions reached by Fink.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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FLOOD OF LIES, written by James Cobb Jr., is the story, told by their attorney, of how the owners of St. Rita's Nursing Home were acquitted of manslaughter charges brought by Foti's prosecution team. It recounts a similar story of arrest and prosecutorial abuse by Foti.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The outpouring of support from the medical community of Louisiana and from patients touched by the compassion and medical skill of Dr. Anna M. Pou and the nurses involved in the legal ambush by the attorney general of Louisiana speaks volumes of the hypocrisy apparently deeply imbedded in the Attorney General’s Office.

I’ve read the three major books describing Katrina and the state’s response to it. What is hugely apparent is that the Attorney General’s Office did less than zero to coordinate rescue attempts by the law enforcement agencies of Louisiana and nothing at all to foster a planned response for evacuation beforehand.

The presence of the attorney general’s public relations director at his side during his press conference announcing his flawed findings speaks volumes of his motivations in this matter – ink and air time.

Bob Crowley
Baton Rouge, LA

* * *

As a practicing anesthesiologist for over 20 years, I read in horror that Louisiana attorney general Charles Foti stated that the drugs Dr. Anna Pou administered to same patients who could not be evacuated were a deadly combination. That combination (Versed and morphine) is routinely used by doctors in the hospital setting to alleviate pain and anxiety.

I think it is irresponsible to accuse this brave doctor of murder when in fact, as I see it, she was trying to comfort patients in a hopeless situation.

Joe Hand Campbell Jr., MD
Chairman of Department of Anesthesiology
Forrest General Hospital
Hattiesburg, MS

* * *

Due to our experience of working daily with Dr. Pou in all aspects of patient care at many institutions, including Memorial, we feel uniquely qualified to testify to the quality of Dr. Pou as a physician, teacher and human being. From our perspective, the staff and patients of Memorial Medical Center owe Dr. Pou and the others present at that time a debt of gratitude for their superhuman self-sacrifice during one of the worst episodes of human suffering in our nation’s history.

Colin D. Pero, M.D.
New Orleans, LA

* * *

In July of 2004, I was touched by an angel whose name is Dr. Anna Pou. She is the most caring and compassionate doctor I have ever known.

As a 26-year-old female patient, I was quite concerned about my first surgery, the scarring involved and possible negative outcomes due to the facial nerve involvement. Dr. Pou assured me she knew what she was doing and that I was in good hands. After my surgery, I learned of the special attention this special doctor gave me.

From the day I first walked into her office through the follow up visits after the surgery, this compassionate and caring doctor had only one agenda – to give me the best of herself. I remember well the last visit I had with her which was shortly before she moved to Louisiana. She handed my mother one of her new business cards and said, “If you need me- you know where I’ll be.” In our hearts, we knew that she meant it.

I was blessed to have been in the caring hands of Dr. Anna Pou.

P.L.G
Patient
Pearland, TX

* * *

I have been a practicing pulmonologist/intensivist here for 23 years and know firsthand of the difficult medical and ethical decisions that are made daily in he hospitals under “ideal conditions” i.e. food, supplies, electricity, security, etc.
I cannot imagine the horrible scene at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans. Despite this, there were medical personnel, including those named in the paper, who gallantly stood by the patients offering care in the face of great adversity and risk.

I have spoken personally to some of those there and heard stories of doctors and nurses physically carrying critical patients up the stairs to the roof to be evacuated only to find the helicopter did not stop.
Many of these ill patients die under the best of conditions, but without necessary supplies and
relief they were doomed.
I pray that when the specifics come to light that these people will not only be exonerated, but will be publicly applauded for doing what was right, despite great personal risk.

William H. Hines, M.D Physician
Baton Rouge, LA

* * *

My heart goes out to all the families who lost loved ones in the storm. It also goes out to Dr. Pou, Cheri Landry, Lori Budo, and all the other nurses and doctors (except for Dr. King, the resident who is making vague accusations against his colleague, Dr. Pou). Thank you for all that you did for our city during the storm. I have the utmost respect for all of you. I wish Mr. Foti would have shared some of this respect and included some human decency when making his arrests of the three women, rather than handcuffing them at their homes and creating a media circus.

Emily Ramee
Fourth-year Medical Student at LSU
New Orleans, LA

* * *

I was one of Dr. Pou’s residents when she was a faculty member at UTMB. I was assigned to her service for 8 months total and worked closely with her during this time. I know of no physician with more compassion for her patients. I knew her to be a tireless advocate of her patients. I feel certain that Dr. Pou’s actions during this tragedy are beyond reproach. I am certain that she acted in a heroic fashion with no thought to her own comfort or wellbeing.

I know her to be a fierce advocate for her patients. At UTMB she took care of many indigent patients who could not afford many aspects of their treatment. She fought hard for those patients to get the treatment they needed.

All of those who had the responsibility for ordering evacuations for residents of the Gulf Coast, including hospitalized patients who were abandoned, should be the ones facing murder charges. All of those that had authority to and resources to rescue those stranded by Katrina and did not act should be held accountable.

Sarah Rodriguez, MD
Former resident
Kyle, TX

* * *

You are one of my favorite staff MD’s and working with you was a pleasure. I never worked with a staff doctor that cared about their patients the way you did and it showed through your work.

Darlene Waldweiler

* * *

In the Newsweek article What the Doctor Did (July 31, 2006), it is unfortunate that your writers did not make more of an effort to analyze and report on “What the Attorney General Did.” In fact, Attorney General Charles Foti arrested these women in the middle of the night, so he could film a “perp walk,” although they had offered to surrender voluntarily, and were no flight risk. He then went on television to decry their alleged actions, thereby poisoning the grand jury pool that must now decide whether they are to be indicted. He did this based on “witness testimony in a state affidavit” that was provided by representatives of Life Care, the company to whom the deceased patients’ care had been entrusted. Life Care’s doctors had apparently fled the scene, leaving their care to the only doctor who stayed.

Jean M. Champagne
Friend

* * *
It makes my blood boil to read out-of-state medical ethicists criticizing Dr. Anna Pou and the staff at Memorial after Hurricane Katrina. Here they are sitting in their air-conditioned offices, knowing that their families are safe, that their houses are fine, that they can sleep in their own beds and come to work at the same place tomorrow.
If the government wants to place blame for what happened, they need look no further than the government’s failure to come to the aid of its most vulnerable constituents in a timely manner.

Louis Shepard
New Orleans, LA

* * *
The Louisiana State Medical Society (LSMS) is confident that Dr. Pou performed courageously under the most challenging and horrific conditions and made decisions in the best interest of her patients.

Her long and distinguished career as a talented surgeon and dedicated educator should not be tarnished as a result of these accusations.

The Louisiana State Medical Society will continue to support Dr. Pou as she has always supported her patients. The LSMS commends the valiant efforts of Dr. Pou, along with the many other dedicated health care professionals who stayed behind to provide medical care during and following Hurricane Katrina.

Floyd A. Buras, MD
President of Louisiana State Medical Society
Baton Rouge, LA

 

 

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