I hope this is the end of it, said New Orleans Coroner Dr. Frank Minyard today when he declared Jannie Burgesss death unclassified and its cause undetermined. Burgess died at Memorial Medical Center in the days following Hurricane Katrina when the hospital was flooded and without power. Before dying, Burgess was injected with morphine seven times, but the coroner said the 79-year-old patient was extremely ill suffering from kidney and liver failure.
The controversy surrounding the Memorial deaths resurfaced late last year after an article by ProPublica reporter and medical doctor Sheri Fink. In Finks story, Dr. Ewing Cook, a senior physician at the hospital, admitted to hastening Burgesss death: I gave her medicine so I could get rid of her faster, get the nurses off the floor.