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    Representational image of painkillers | Photo: iCommons

Published 5 June 2019

"I've been a prosecutor for 22 years and I have not seen a 25-count murder indictment," said Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien.

A doctor from the state of Ohio in the United States was charged on 25 counts of murder Wednesday for over-prescribing patients in critical condition with potentially lethal amounts of opioids.

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Dr. William Husel, a former physician in the Mount Carmel Health System in Colombus, Ohio, was arrested after a six-month investigation found he had been “administering doses of fentanyl at a level that they internally believed were inappropriate and not for a legitimate medical purpose," to patients in critical condition, Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien told the press.

The indictment papers alleged that doses, ranging from 500 to 2,000 micrograms were administered with the intent “to hasten the death of the patients that were being treated."

In addition to the 25 murder charges, 10 other suspicious deaths are under investigation due the high morphine levels in the patients' system and unusually low fentanyl doses.

"I've been a prosecutor for 22 years and I have not seen a 25-count murder indictment," O’Brien said.

In an interview with NBC, Husel's attorney, Richard Blake, said, “This is not a murder case. I can assure you there was never any attempt to euthanize anyone by Dr. Husel. At no time did he ever have the intent to euthanize anyone."

The court revoked Husel’s passport and placed him under a strict, no-contact order. The court also fixed a US$20,000 recognizance bond and a US$1 million surety, or appearance bond, on the physician. Husel faces 15 years to life in prison. He has pleaded not guilty.

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