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Nurses no longer with hospital

Ben Godar

Two nurses at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center who were

responsible for giving a terminally ill cancer patient medication not

prescribed by his doctor are no longer employed by the hospital.


The nurses were “separated from the hospital,” said hospital

spokesman Brian Greene, who declined to identify the workers and

would not say if they quit or were terminated.

Greene did say that counseling and other services are being


offered to the nurses by the hospital’s human resources department.

The nurses were taken off their regular schedules for a week

following the June 7 death of Pierre Azar, an 80-year-old cancer

patient who died minutes after nurses gave him a sedative to calm him

that was not prescribed by his doctors, police said. Azar had

requested hospital staff not attempt to resuscitate him.

The attending physician contacted police, who are still

investigating the case. No arrests have been made. Officials with the


coroner’s office examined the body June 10, but a spokesman said the

cause of death would not be determined until toxicology test results

are available, in four to six weeks.

Hospital officials, meanwhile, are conducting what they call a

root-cause investigation to determine exactly what happened.

Greene said the inquiry is about 75% complete, but would not

speculate whether the death was caused by the medication until the

investigation is completed.


“We want to find out what happened here and make sure it never

happens again,” he said.