A former hospice nurse was arrested for allegedly stealing morphine from dying veterans under her care. Police say that 55-year-old Kathleen Noftle watered down the liquid morphine before giving it to her patients on at least three occasions while working at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center campus in Bedford, Massachusetts. Noftle would keep the extra drugs for herself and ingested them while on duty.
“The investigation revealed that, due to diluted morphine administered by Noftle, one veteran experienced increased difficulty breathing (dyspnea) and increased suffering in his final days,” the U.S. Attorney’s office said in a statement.
Investigators learned that Noftle resigned from a previous job as a nurse at a different hospital because she did not follow the proper procedures when discarding narcotics. She worked at that hospital for 29 years and opted to resign instead of facing a disciplinary hearing over the allegations.
She was charged with one count of obtaining a controlled substance by misrepresentation and one count of tampering with a consumer product and faces up to 14 years in prison if found guilty on both charges.
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