William Husel, an Ohio critical care doctor has been charged with killing 25 patients by deliberately prescribing lethal doses of opioids
Husel who has worked with Mount Carmel Health Systems from 2014 to 2018 five years, was indicted by grand jury on 25 counts of murder Wednesday
He is accused of intentionally prescribing lethal amounts of painkillers, mainly the synthetic opioid fentanyl, to 29 patients between 2014 and 2018, resulting in the deaths of all but four of them
The 43-year-old physician has pled NOT GUILTY as he attorney claims he was providing ‘comfort care for dying patients and didn’t intend to hasten their deaths’, contrary to prosecution allegations
35 patients have been identified as having received excessive doses of pain medication, 29 of the patients, the hospital says, received potentially lethal doses of pain medications.
Husel was fired by Mount Carmel for in December and stripped of his medical license after the allegations came to light
Prosecutors face a legal hurdle proving that Husel ordered doses without medical justification and intending to cause deaths, even if the drugs were actually administered by a nurse or other colleague
He’s being held on $1million bond
Records reveal Husel detonated a pipe bomb in a trash can while at college and ‘then tried to frame another person for the crime’
He pled guilty to improperly storing a destructive device or pipe bomb in 1996
Husel who was sentenced to six months in jail and one year of supervised release, blamed his college crime on ‘immaturity’ and ‘peer pressure’
The hospital system said six more patients got doses that were excessive but likely didn’t cause their deaths.
Many of the patients who died had been seriously ill when given the painkillers.
Dr. Husel had worked at Mount Carmel for five years when concerns about his conduct were raised last October. He was removed from patient care four weeks later and terminated on December 5, 2018.
Prosecutors however, face a legal hurdle as they pursue 25 murder charges against the Ohio doctor accused of essentially using his colleagues as weapons by ordering fatal painkiller doses for hospital patients but not directly administering them himself, legal experts say. His lawyer, Richard Blake, said Husel was trying to provide ‘comfort care’ for dying patients and didn’t intend to hasten their deaths, as prosecutors allege.
If the case goes to trial, legal experts said, a key challenge for prosecutors would be proving that Husel ordered doses without medical justification and intending to cause deaths, even if the drugs were actually administered by a nurse or other colleague. Other employees from the Columbus-area Mount Carmel Health System were treated as witnesses and aren’t being prosecuted, Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said. Hospital system officials has said all employees who were part of administering medication for affected patients have been removed from patient care as a precaution. The hospital has publicly apologized and pledged to continue cooperating with authorities. ‘Mount Carmel has made and will continue to implement meaningful changes throughout our system to ensure events like these never happen again,’ the hospital said.
Nineteen of the patients allegedly killed by Dr William Husel by deliberately prescribing lethal doses of opioids: From top [L-R], Bonnie Austin, Jan Thomas, Janet Kavanaugh, Jim Allen, James Nickolas Timmons, Tim Fitzpatrick, Corrinia Blake, Rebecca Walls, Saunders Young Jr, Joanne Bellisari, Sue Hodge, Norma Welch, Thelma Kyer, Robert Lee, Donald McCluno, Beverlee Schirtzinger, Larry Brigner and Melissa Penix