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Cool Cat
12,111 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
WTF? Doesthis ass hat think he is god?! :steamed: :wow: :fist: :rant:

AF Nurse Charged in 3 Patients' Deaths

March 18, 2009

Associated Press
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SAN ANTONIO - An Air Force nurse has been charged with murder for allegedly giving lethal amounts of medication to three terminally ill patients in his care over one month last summer, military officials said Tuesday.

Capt. Michael Fontana, 35, was formally charged Monday by the Air Force with deliberately giving three Wilford Hall Medical Center patients lethal amounts of medication, and with conduct unbecoming an officer for allegedly changing a medical record for one of the patients.

The Air Force began investigating after another staff member at the San Antonio hospital discovered irregularities in Fontana's administration of medications that may have resulted in the death of a terminally ill patient, Air Force spokesman David Smith said.

The investigation, which began in August, revealed that two other patients in Fontana's care in July may have received lethal amounts of medication. Fontana, an intensive care unit nurse, was removed from duty as soon as the irregularity was reported.

Fontana continues to work in the hospital but is not allowed contact with patients or records, Smith said Tuesday.

"He has been deemed not a flight risk and has been at work every day" since being relieved of duty, he said.

Wilford Hall, at Lackland Air Force Base, is the Air Force's largest hospital. It primarily serves military personnel and retirees but provides emergency and trauma care to some civilians. The facility has 26 ICU beds.

Relatives of Fontana's alleged victims were notified of the investigation, Smith said. He declined to provide any details about them, saying only that they were "end-of-life terminally ill patients" and not believed to be veterans of the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Smith declined to speculate on a motive but said that to his knowledge, the patients had not requested assistance to end their lives.
An Article 32 hearing, the military equivalent to a grand jury proceeding, will be conducted in the next few weeks, and the hospital commander will decide whether the case goes to court martial.

A call to Fontana's home was not immediately returned Tuesday.
Smith said the case is the first in at least 10 years in which an Air Force medical personnel member is accused of deliberately killing a patient.
Fontana, who previously worked as an EMT nurse in Austin, has been in the Air Force since 2006 and served a tour at the military hospital in Balad, Iraq, from August to December 2007, Smith said. Investigators reviewed his work there and found no irregularities, he said.

The Texas Board of Nursing lists Fontana as a registered nurse since 2000 and has no current disciplinary action against him.

As part of Congress' latest round of base closures and realignments, Wilford will become an outpatient surgical center in 2011. Brooke Army Medical Center, across town at Fort Sam Houston, will expand and take in Wilford's other cases.

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15,544 Posts
Hey, if these people were in pain and dying anyways, and wanted to check out quickly, quietly, painlessly, then this man did them a favor.

37 Posts
In his mind he was doing the patients a favor; even though he had good intentions this was not the way to do it; now, he will eventually get punished/discharged once the investigation and court martial are complete.
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