Former Ohio Doctor William Husel Faces 25 Counts of Murder for Ordering Excessive Amounts of Fentanyl

William Husel, a former Mount Carmel doctor, was charged in the deaths of 25 patients in one of the biggest murder cases in Ohio history.

Husel turned himself into Columbus this morning after a six-month criminal investigation concluded that he purposely caused the deaths of dozens of patients by ordering excessive doses of the drug fentanyl over a four-year period.

Husel was indicted by a Franklin County grand jury on 25 counts of murder. His bond was set at $1 million by Franklin County Common Pleas Magistrate Jenifer Cordle.

Health system officials with Mount Carmel have said Husel ordered excessive doses of painkillers for 35 patients, although they do not believe six of those patients died because of the drugs.

The criminal charges involve the 25 victims were given at least 500 micrograms of the opioid fentanyl, a level which was reported as being a potentially lethal amount. In most cases, the highly powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl was administered to intensive care patients as they were being removed from ventilators.

Several family members acknowledged in interviews that their loved ones were in bad shape – and may have died anyway – but claim they were not consulted about the large doses of pain medications that were about to be administered to their loved ones. Many of them died after receiving doses of fentanyl while others were given fentanyl along with other drugs like Dilaudid, versed and paralytics like vecuronium.

Attorneys representing these patients have claimed that the combination of drugs like fentanyl and versed or Dilaudid accelerated these patients’ deaths or that the use of paralytics gave an inaccurate picture of the patients’ true conditions – making it appear as though they were brain dead.

CEO Ed Lamb issued a taped video apology, saying that the actions of the doctor were unacceptable and not in line with the hospital’s standards of care. The hospital has said that its internal processes were not sufficient to stop these actions from happening. The hospital has since adopted a series of changes – including now requiring that nurses and doctors receive pharmacy approval before administering drugs when a patient is being removed from a ventilator.

Jones Brown Law

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