Doc Denies Ordering Outsize Painkiller to End Patient’s Life

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – A critical-care doctor accused of ordering excessive painkiller doses for dozens of Ohio hospital patients who died is denying he negligently or intentionally prescribed drugs to end a woman’s life.

The response is part of a court filing seeking dismissal of a lawsuit against Dr. William Husel over the September death of 64-year-old Bonnie Austin. Among others defenses, his lawyer argues Husel is immune to the suit under state law.

The Columbus-area Mount Carmel Health System fired Husel in December. They face at least 23 wrongful death and medical negligence lawsuits .

Mount Carmel found Husel ordered potentially fatal drug doses for 29 patients over several years. It says six more received excessive doses that weren’t likely what caused their deaths.

Mount Carmel apologized and put other employees on leave.