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Dr. Steven Karch

Qualifications and Involvement in the Pou Case



Dr. Karch received his undergraduate degree from Brown University, attended graduate school in Anatomy and Cell Biology at Stanford University, and his MD from Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans. He did postgraduate training in neuropathology at the Royal London Hospital, and in Cardiac Pathology at Stanford University, Palo Alto. He was an Assistant Medical Examiner in San Francisco for nearly 10 years.


He has written nearly 200 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, most having to do with the investigation of drug-related deaths. He has published 10 books. The 4th edition of his textbook, Karch’s Pathology of Drug Abuse is a best seller and is used around the world.


Dr. Karch a fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), the Society of Forensic Toxicologists (SOFT). He taught for the past 10 years the toxicology component of the U.S. Army’s basic course in Forensic Pathology. He was the North American Editor for the Journal of Clinical and Forensic Medicine (London) and served on the editorial.


Dr. Karch was hired by the British government to help with the prosecution of Dr. Harold Shipman, the world’s worst serial murder. Dr. Karch helped to obtain the conviction of Dr. Shipman who was convicted of having fatally poisoned 248 of his patients. He has testified in alleged cases of euthanasia in courts around the world.


Involvement in the Case:


In February 2007 I was contacted by the AG’s office as they had received reports of multiple cases of homicide occurring at Memorial Hospital and wanted my input. We met on Thursday, February 9, at Coroner Dr. Minyard’s office in New Orleans with a diverse group, including the medical examiners from New Orleans, representatives from the AG’s office, and representatives from the office of Orleans Parish District Attorney.


We discussed the findings in each case individually. I pointed out that in every instance these were very sick patients, some already with DNR orders. I told all present I felt there was insufficient evidence to proceed with charges against Dr. Pou based solely on the drug concentrations measured in fluids oozing from their decomposed bodies, bodies that had been stored at high temperatures for days or weeks.


I was told not to write a report. After the GJ refused to indict, reports from the experts who believed her to be a murderer were released to CNN by the AG’s office. My opinions were never mentioned and my name never released.

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