Air Force Nurse Charged in 3 Deaths

'Soldier of mercy' allegedly gave lethal doses to terminally ill
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 17, 2009 4:15 PM CDT
Air Force Nurse Charged in 3 Deaths
An Air Force nurse faces charges in the death of three patients.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

An Air Force nurse has been charged with giving lethal amounts of medication to three terminally ill patients in his care. Capt. Michael Fontana, 35, was formally charged in military court with deliberately giving three patients at Wilford Hall Medical Center—the Air Force's largest hospital—lethal amounts of medication, and with conduct unbecoming an officer for allegedly changing a medical document.

The Air Force began investigating after another staff member at the San Antonio hospital discovered irregularities in Fontana's administration of drugs that may have killed a patient. The investigation revealed that two other patients in Fontana's care also may have received lethal doses. Fontana was removed from duty as soon as the irregularity was reported. (More nurses stories.)

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