Federal prosecutors on Wednesday accused a former hospice nurse of the theft of liquid morphine meant for dying veterans, of which at least one has resulted in a long-suffering, a veterinary surgeon, during the last days of his life.
Kathleen Noftle, 55, allegedly took the drugs to patients in the hospice care unit at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Bedford, Mass., in march of 2017.
Investigators said she admitted to the dilution of the drug for three times from a mixture of water and a dose of half of the softened dose for the patients under her care, and takes the rest for himself.
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“The investigation has revealed that, as a result of the diluted morphine administered by Noftle, a veteran of the experience is increased difficulty in breathing (shortness of breath) and increased the suffering in his final days, according to the U.s. attorney’s office in Massachusetts.
Noftle, was on Wednesday arrested and charged with one count of obtaining a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, deception, and subterfuge, as a count of tampering with a consumer product. They appeared before a federal magistrate, who released her on her own recognizance.
The study Noftle revealed she had resigned from her position as a nurse at a different hospital, and after her failure to follow proper procedures in the waste of drugs on 60 occasions, with the U. s. attorney’s office said.
I said that the charges against Noftle run completely at odds with the VA’s rules and regulations.”
“That’s the reason why we terminated the individual, and reported on the behaviour of VA’s independent inspector general,” the medical center said in a statement.
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As a Noftle was convicted on all charges, she could face more than ten years in prison.
For her federal prosecutor’s office did not immediately have a comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.