Updated: June 5, 2019 / 12:57 p.m.
A doctor in the state of Ohio is convicted of 25 counts of murder for administering high and sometimes fatal doses of opioid painkillers to many of his sick patients, prosecutors mentioned on Wednesday.
The doctor, William Husel, has turned himself into the Columbus police after a six-month-long investigation into what Mount Carmel Hospital called his administration of “inappropriate” doses of fentanyl to patients, Franklin County prosecutor Ron O’Brien mentioned at a news conference.
Husel’s case is just one of the many waves of U.S. doctors charged for their role in a public health crisis that revolved around Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that led to a record of 47,600 opioid-related overdose deaths in the year 2017.
If Husel is prosecuted, he faces 15 years to life in prison for each count.
“By giving fentanyl at these levels, we were comfortable with the information we had that it was a sufficient amount that the only rational purpose could be to shorten a person’s life,” O’Brien said.
Fentanyl, which is prescribed for the intense pain that is associated with cancer, is 100 times stronger than morphine.
The murders that Husel is charged with committing spanned from February of 2015 to November of 2018, according to court docs. O’Brien said Mount Carmel Hospital believes Husel was the cause of 35 patient deaths.