The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

New Orleans:
Arresting the wrong people

Jul 24, 2006

The attorney general of Louisiana, Charles Foti, made a big show of arresting a doctor and two nurses in connection with the deaths of four patients in a New Orleans hospital shortly after Hurricane Katrina.

Foti accused the doctor, Anna Pou, and nurses Cheri Landry and Lori Budo, of intentionally giving the patients lethal doses of drugs used to relieve pain and anxiety among long-term care patients.

The deaths occurred several days after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. The city was flooded, and the hospital had no electricity, water or phone service. Temperatures inside the hospital rose to over 100 degrees.

Pou, Landry and Budo did not have to return to the hospital but they did, staying at the risk of their own lives, to help patients as much as they could. They had no high tech medical equipment and had to use whatever was at their disposal to try to alleviate the patients’ suffering.

While the three were risking their lives to help patients, Foti and politicians like him were nowhere to be found. A doctor at Tulane University asked, “Where the hell was he? Where the hell was the law enforcement? Where the hell was anybody until Friday [September 2 when large-scale evacuations began]? If you want to prosecute, if you want to know who is responsible for people dying, it’s the people who were NOT here. It’s not the people who were here.”

Foti is one of a long list of people – including the president of the United States, the governor of Louisiana, the mayor of New Orleans, and the head of FEMA – who are responsible for the deaths of those patients and of many more people.

In denouncing the medical personnel, Foti may be trying to absolve himself and all those other criminals of responsibility in the disaster that swept through New Orleans.

No one in the population is fooled by it!