Expert testimony begins for Mount Carmel nurses' disciplinary hearings

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The Ohio Board of Nursing is listening to expert testimony this week ahead of administrative hearings for 25 nurses at Columbus, Ohio-based Mount Carmel Health System next month, reports CBS affiliate WBNS.

The hearings will focus on the nurses' alleged involvement in prescribing fatal painkiller doses to at least 35 patients between 2015 and 2018. William Husel, DO, a former intensive care physician at Mount Carmel, has been charged with 25 counts of murder in connection to the patient deaths.

The nurses do not face criminal charges but may receive disciplinary sanctions — including the loss of their license — pending the results of the administrative hearings.

The state nursing board deposed three expert witnesses to give testimony this week, reports ABC affiliate WSYX. During her testimony, Sarah Blowers, MSN, RN, a nurse practitioner at Cleveland-based Hospice of the Western Reserve, said there is no defined dosage limit for patients receiving opioid painkillers. However, nurses have a duty to challenge any physician order they believe to be unsafe, she said.

Lawyers representing some of the nurses facing administrative hearings declined WBNS' request for comment.

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