A Louisiana grand jury refused to indict Anna Pou, the cancer surgeon accused of murdering four seriously ill patients after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans.
Pou and two nurses were arrested last summer after Attorney General Charles Foti's investigation concluded they killed four people with a lethal cocktail at Memorial Medical Center during the chaotic conditions after the August 2005 storm.
Lawyers for the three said they acted heroically, staying to treat patients rather than evacuating.
Charges against nurses Lori Budo and Cheri Landry were dropped after they were compelled to testify last month before a grand jury under legal guidelines that kept their testimony from being used against them. They waived their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
The Orleans Parish grand jury had been investigating the charges since March.
In a written statement, Foti said, The dedicated employees of the attorney generals office have done their duty as required by federal and state law, and I am very proud of our efforts on behalf of the victims and their families.
Pou, whose specialty is eye, ear, nose and throat surgery, gave up her private practice after she was arrested. She has been working at Louisiana State University medical school in Baton Rouge, teaching residents.
After Katrina broke levees on Aug. 29, 2005, flooding 80% of the city, the lower level of the 317-bed Memorial Medical Center was under 10 feet of water. Electric power throughout the city failed and temperatures inside the hospital topped 100 degrees.
At least 34 people died at the hospital, many from dehydration during the four-day wait for rescuers to evacuate them.
The four people Pou was accused of murdering, ranging in age from 61 to 90, would have allegedly survived if they hadn't been given morphine and midazolam hydrochloride, Foti said. The drugs are central nervous system depressants. -- by the Associated Press