Thursday, the Mount Carmel Hospital released a shocking report that revealed the crimes of Doctor William Husel were far more extensive and well known than previously noted.
As first reported on January 18th, the Mount Carmel Hospital confirmed that Dr. Husel was being investigated for malpractice. The young doctor had allegedly prescribed dangerous – and in some cases fatal – doses of fentanyl to at least 27 patients. All the victims were in a “near death” state when the doses were administered. In some cases, the doctor was prescribing 50 times the recommended dose. No motive had yet been established and the doctor was suspended from service until the investigation is complete.
Thursday’s report revealed that a “formal report” about the questionable methods of Dr. Husel was first filed on October 25th, 2018. However, he was not removed from providing patient care until November 21st, almost a month later. During this time, three of his victims were administered the lethal doses and all three died shortly after. The hospital conceded that “we should have begun a more expedited process to investigate and consider immediate removal of Dr. Husel from patient care.” There is no clear answer as to why the waited so long to remove the doctor from his position.
The report also revealed that seven additional victims had been identified. They noted;
One of the patients received an excessive and potentially fatal dose. The other six patients received excessive doses that went beyond providing comfort but were likely not the cause of their deaths.
This brings the total number of confirmed victims to 34. Thus far, the only common factors with each patient were that they were all in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit. Many had signed Do Not Resuscitate orders (DNR) before consulting with the doctor, however, some families have stated that the doctor pressured them into signing one. Currently, Husel is facing four lawsuits, representing more than half of his victims.
Although reporting thus far indicates the doctor acted alone, there are many questions the hospital will have to answer for. Why did they not remove Dr. Husel from patient care immediately? How was he able to acquire the large doses of fentanyl without oversight? Why was he allowed to pressure families into singing DNR orders? There is a high probability the hospital will face legal and ethical challenges in the coming years. It is worth noting that since this case became public, Mount Carmel Hospital has shown surprising openness regarding the status of the investigation, including releasing a video discussing the events, responding to media inquiries, and putting out prompt statements on new developments.
Watch the video announcement by Mount Caramel Health System CEO, Ed Lamb:
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