A Columbus, Ohio doctor accused of overprescribing pain medication was indicted on 25 counts of murder after turning himself in to Columbus authorities on Wednesday.
Dr. William Husel, 43, formally of the Mount Carmel Health System pleaded not guilty Wednesday to 25 counts of murder following a six-month investigation by the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office.
Husel is being accused of medical malpractice for giving “excessive” doses of fentanyl to at least 34 of his patients.
The investigation may also implicate as many as 30 other employees involved in acts of negligence.
After pleading not guilty Husel’s bond was set at $1 million.
The investigation began when an attorney representing the Mount Carmel Health System contacted Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien with information that a doctor was “administering doses of fentanyl at a level that they internally believed were inappropriate and not for a legitimate medical purpose.”
In medical treatment doses up to 100 micrograms of the synthetic opioid fentanyl are considered standard, but with many patients Husel is accused of administering between 500-2000 micrograms in doses that “were designed to hasten the death of the patients that were being treated,” according to O’Brien.
Although the prosecutor’s office is not currently pursuing charges against the other medical staff involved including nurses and pharmacists, 30 employees from Mount Carmel were placed on leave and many have been named in the ongoing civil suits tied to the cases.
People responding to the story were shocked by how long Husel’s practices went unnoticed and many were chilled by his icy demeanor as he turned himself in to authorities.
He doesnt look even the least bit fazed by this.— Melanie Davis (@melaniesdavis) June 5, 2019
That's cause he's a monster.— 🏳️🌈Light Rhyder🏳️🌈 (@LightRhyder) June 5, 2019
this man deserves life in prison. That is terrifying to imagine if he was never caught.— 🇺🇸 (@blkck) June 5, 2019
Jesus, WHAT is WRONG with some ppl? Seemingly soulless.— Duper (@StingraySterlin) June 5, 2019
And many agreed that malpractice at this level amounted to an institutional failure and that others besides Husel should be facing charges in the case.
Every nurse who administered these excessive doses needs to be charged as well. It’s their responsibility to question and/or notify a supervising health professional. There are supposed to be built in safety processes to prevent this kind of thing. Every mngr, every nurse, is— Susan: Impeach Now Vote Later! Nancy r u listening (@dalvajulia) June 5, 2019
this may appear harsh but it’s true. these orders are insane. everyone involved who didn’t refuse, stop him, or alert management is responsible.— rox (@roxroxrom) June 5, 2019
you would think. It will be interesting to see what comes out in trial. What is most disturbing about the case is that he allegedly did this kind of thing repeatedly for a number of years and apparently it didn't raise any red flags for the hospital administration....? Yikes.— Emperor Pennywise, Lord of Misrule (@AmongMyBooks) June 6, 2019
who were the nurses who agreed to these orders? honestly they were negligent, too.— rox (@roxroxrom) June 5, 2019
Given the terminal condition of some of Husel’s patients, others were conflicted on how to judge his actions.
However Husel made no official claims regarding assisted suicide; people online merely speculated.
Having seen 100s of people suffer at the end of lives, I hope this doctor is not found guilty and allowed to practice again. There is a time and a place for this type of treatment. Not to kill but make sure a person does not suffer.— Little Fat Tony (@69bull69dawg69) June 5, 2019
Were these patients generally healthy or were these some sort of assisted suicides???— S i e r r a🥤 (@femimami) June 5, 2019
Exactly what I was trying to determine. My Dad suffocated to death (pulmonary fibrosis), and he/we would have chosen a fentanyl push to save him from an agonizing death. So, until I hear more, I’m conflicted about this case— K McC (@pellmellkell) June 6, 2019
I don’t know the full story or if families asked to end their loved ones suffering...We can end the suffering for our pets, when they are terminally ill, but can’t for family members...I personally wish there was a legal option for this...— 🇺🇦 Dana 🇺🇸 (@zapadenka_ya) June 5, 2019
If convicted Husel faces as much as 15 years to life in prison per count