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Critical care doctor testifies in murder trial of Dr. William Husel

On Wednesday, jurors heard from three nurses who worked with Husel and administered doses of fentanyl and other drugs.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A critical care doctor from Vanderbilt Medical Center returned to the stand to testify Thursday in the murder trial of a former Mount Carmel physician. 

You can watch both parts of Thursday's testimony below. 

Jurors heard from Dr. Wesley Ely in the first week of testimony when he equated the doses given to patients by Dr. William Husel as being “enough to take down an elephant.” 

Husel is accused of ordering fatal doses of fentanyl and other drugs to be administered to 14 patients, all of whom died, during his time as an overnight critical care physician at the hospital. 

On Wednesday, jurors heard from three nurses who worked with Husel and helped administer the doses of fentanyl and other drugs. 

Stephanie LeChard, who now works in the maternity ward at Mount Carmel St. Anne’s, explained it was normal to override access to medications at the hospital, adding, “At Cleveland Clinic there were very few medications that you were able to override.” 

Many of Husel’s patients were on ventilators or receiving end-of-life care at the time of their deaths. The defense has claimed Husel was providing comfort care to those patients in their final moments, and that it was the removal of life support – not the drugs – that ultimately killed them. 

Of the 14 patients, most were given 1,000 micrograms of fentanyl or more. In previous testimony, Dr. Ely said doses that high went beyond what was medically necessary and called them “mind-boggling.”

You can watch Thursday’s briefing in the player above.  

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