Good to see Dr. Pou will not be facing criminal charges for having the unholy gall to attempt to assuage the suffering of ICU patients abandoned by the United States government during the Katrina tragedy. Yet another attempt by right wing fascist America to politicize a very specific, personal act of bravery and compassion.
Listen, let's not be naive here. How do you think people die in ICU's? You really think the angel of God descends and gently lifts their soul from their earthly bodies, as they fall into the deep restful sleep of oblivion, a slight smile on blissfully parted lips? "Turning off the machines" and "pulling the plug" doesn't always lead to painless, comforting death. Often you watch them thrash, eyes go wide, muscles twitching, as they slowly suffocate. It's inhuman. No one should die like that. To have to go from being fully supported on a ventilator to having the machine flipped off, it's like someone pushing a pillow on your face. To not give any morphine or heavy sedation would be the unethical move. I had an ICU nurse who made me watch a patient die after I had written a DNR-CC order. It was the worst thing I've ever seen. Her eyes popping out of her head. The pain. Worse, the fear that seemed to seize her poor, wasted body. The nurse had 20mg of morphine in her hand. Give it, I stammered. All of it. She drifted off to sleep, death following shortly therafter. Granted, technically, you're euthanizing the patient; hastening the end. But it's the right thing to do, as far as I'm concerned.