A doctor in Ohio who has been accused of murdering 14 of his patients by over-prescribing the pain medication fentanyl will face the possibility of conviction on Monday, April 11, after the closing arguments of both the defense and the prosecution have been laid down.

William Husel, a former doctor at Mount Carmel in Ohio, had his medical license suspended in 2019 after accusations of murdering his patients by overprescribing opioids and sedatives to them surfaced, with the prosecutor David Zeyen arguing that the medication hastened the death of those patients, according to the Daily Beast.

“Even though they were very critically ill and perhaps some of them were on a trajectory to die very soon anyway, you cannot hasten their death,” Zeyen said. “You cannot quickly or painlessly cause the death of a dying person. You can’t do it. Not in the state of Ohio.”

Zeyen then compared Husel to a veterinarian putting down animals, though he stated explicitly that the law does not allow the disgraced doctor to do that to humans.

“They are doing that out of mercy because that is what you do to sick animals. But their intention is not just to cover their pain and let them die a natural death. Their purpose…is to kill them. That is fine in veterinary science. That is not fine in the ICU,” he said.

Afterward, Hysel’s defense attorney Jose Baez argued that the prosecution has been unable to show that the physician intentionally dosed those patients in a way that ensured their deaths, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

“He dedicated his life to taking care of the ill, to saving lives, not taking them. Where is it that he intended on killing people? Where did you hear that evidence? The reality is that no, there wasn't [any evidence]. He's got no reason, no motive to harm these patients,” Baez said.

Baez also argued that the hospital itself had no policy with regards to dosing and palliative care, and that Husel was not only experienced, but knew that there wasn’t a limit to the amount of fentanyl you could give a person when they’re at the end-of-life.

“There are numerous times in this case where you have been asked to take a leap of faith, to find things that just aren't there,” Baez said, referring to the murder charges.

Besides the murder charges that Husel is facing, the jury can also deliberate on an attempted murder charge that the judge has allowed into the discussion with the jurors. Baez has questioned the need for the attempted murder charge as he claims the evidence put forward does not point towards it.

Husel faces life in prison if convicted of the murder charges.

Fentanyl Doctor Accused of Murder
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