Ohio Doctor Accused of Murdering 25 Patients With Fentanyl Overdoses

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An Ohio critical care doctor has been charged with murder in the overdose deaths of 25 patients, PEOPLE confirms.

Prosecutors alleged William Husel, who worked at the Columbus-area Mount Carmel Health System, allegedly “purposely caused the death” of each of his patients who were administered lethal amounts of fentanyl that “shortened their life and hastened or caused their death,” according to a Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office press release obtained by PEOPLE.

The overdose deaths occurred between Feb. 2015 and Nov. 2018, according to the release.

“This breach of the doctor’s oath is vile,” Columbus Police Chief Tom Quinlan said Wednesday, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

The patients that died under his care were between the ages of 37 and 85, the Enquirer reports.

The treatment was administered to patients at Mount Carmel and St. Ann’s Hospitals in Columbus, Ohio, according to the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office press release.

Husel, 43, turned himself into authorities Wednesday, according to NBC.

Husel faces years to life in prison, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Husel had been a doctor at the Mount Carmel Health System since 2015. He was fired in December, NBC reports.

Mount Carmel Health System could not be reached for comment. According to a statement on its website, “the Mount Carmel has made and continues to make changes throughout our system to prevent the improper actions that may have led to the deaths of patients under Dr. William Husel’s care. We remain committed to cooperating fully with all authorities and regulators as they investigate this matter, including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH).”

Husel’s attorney could also not be reached for comment.

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Husel’s license was suspended by the State Medical Board of Ohio in January, NBC reports.

According to NBC, the decision was based on Husel’s alleged “failure to meet acceptable standards regarding the selection of drugs, violations of the minimal standards of care and failing to cooperate in a board’s investigation.”

Almost two dozen lawsuits have been filed against the doctor, according to NBC. In one of the cases, an 82-year-old woman allegedly died after she was given 2,000 micrograms of fentanyl five minutes before her death. She had gone to Mount Carmel West complaining of stomach pains.

The lawsuit alleged that Husan suggested that the family should end the woman’s care because she was brain dead, NBC reports.

Husel is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday afternoon.