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Ohio Doctor Faces 25 Counts Of Murder Following Suspicious Deaths Of Former Patients

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.

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.

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.

 

If convicted Husel faces as much as 15 years to life in prison per count

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Written by Dennis Matthew Livesey

Matt is a writer, designer, and native New Yorker. He has worked in film, where he enjoyed a brief career as a stand-in for Ian Holm; finance, where he pretended to understand his job, and real estate, where nothing remarkable happened. He writes about science, technology, and media. His work includes magazine articles, one published book, and the looming inevitability of the second.