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Mount Carmel Doctor Charged With 25 Counts Of Murder

A former Mount Carmel West doctor accused of killing dozens of patients surrendered to police this morning.  

Dr. William Husel is charged with 25 counts of murder for lethal doses of medication he ordered over a period of years.  Franklin County prosecutor Ron O'Brien declined to label Husel a serial killer, but said he's never seen so many murder charges in an indictment.  

Mount Carmel Health System's investigation determined that Husel ordered potentially fatal doses of the opioid fentanyl for 35 patients.  The criminal charges are for the victims given 500 micrograms of fentanyl or more.  In some cases Husel ordered doses as high as 1,000 or even 2,000 micrograms.  

O'Brien says nurses and a pharmacist were the first to question the extreme doses.
"Questions were raised during the time this was occuring by pharmacists, by nurses - and an explanation was given that at least met their standards at the time,  and they failed to kick it up the chain of command, as I say.  But eventually that's how this was discovered; a pharmacist notified the hospital chain of command and the investigation ensued very quickly, identified that it was inappropriate very quickly."

Mount Carmel alerted the prosecutor's office and fired Husel in December.  Over 30 nurses, pharmacists and other hospital staff were placed on leave during the course of the six-month investigation.  O'Brien says many of them are still the subject of investigation by state licensing boards and may lose their licenses.  

Husel has settled 8 lawsuits filed by the families of patients who died, and faces an additional 19.  The 43-year old doctor has not made any comment in the case, although one of his attorneys this morning said simply that Husel had not intended to cause any one's death.

A native of Chicago, naturalized citizen of Cincinnati and resident of Columbus, Alison attended Earlham College and the Ohio State University. She has equal passion for Midwest history, hockey and Slavic poetry.
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