Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Humpty Dumpty’s Language Lesson. Dr Husel found not guilty in 14 counts of murder.

The following article was published by the Healthcare Advocacy and Leadership Organization (HALO).

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that is all.”      (Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland)
Words matter. In the article Jury Finds Dr. William Husel NOT Guilty on All 14 Counts of Murder, we learn that, after deliberating for five days, the jury found former physician William Husel not guilty on charges of overdosing patients with fentanyl and benzodiazepines because he was purportedly providing "comfort care". Even though the doses of these drugs were determined to be lethal, the defense had claimed he did not have "intent" to kill.

“And, so it goes… patients having their already fragile lives shortened with blatantly high doses of controlled substances beyond the standards of practice, while the professionals who order and administer these doses hide behind this concept of “comfort care”. We know it goes on in hospices around the country. And this verdict welcomes more of it,” stated HALO advisor Cristen Krebs, DNP, ANP-BC.

The words we use — and how we use them — make a difference. Calling murder “comfort care” makes evil appear good. Humpty Dumpty-style language manipulation is an effective strategy for marketing the culture of death. 

WARNING: In 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered that its “strongest warnings” be added to labels on opioid pain medications and benzodiazepines after finding that the growing use of opioid medicines combined with benzodiazepines or other drugs that depress the central nervous system has resulted in serious side effects, including slowed or difficult breathing, and deaths. FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA warns about serious risks and death when combining opioid pain or cough medicines with benzodiazepines; requires its strongest warning | FDA

Also, be wary of combinations of drugs such as morphine, fentanyl, Ativan, and Haldol, as well as the administration of opioids when they are not necessary for pain relief or the amount and/or frequency seems excessive. Be suspicious of any medication, especially an opioid or benzodiazepine (primarily used to treat anxiety), given every hour or two.

To help you navigate this difficult issue, please read HALO’s fact sheet 6-HALO-Drugs-Commonly-Used-in-Hospice-and-Palliative-Care.pdf ( 

1 comment:

Janice said...

It's not only the doctors. Nurses are agreeably desensitized to these evils and consider these practices as normal. Nurses are not blind to these realities, they are complicit.
If nurses are taking the 'I'm just doing my job' attitude, they are equally to blame.