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Ohio Doctor Accused of Killing 25 Patients by Fentanyl Overdose

June 19, 2019 Criminal Law and Procedure

Dr. William Husel was charged with the murder of 25 patients over the course of four years in Franklin County, Ohio. He is accused of prescribing high doses of fentanyl to chronically ill patients. He prescribed anywhere from 500 mg-2000 mg of fentanyl to a patient at a time. Dr. Husel’s attorney states his client’s intent was not to euthanize his patient’s, but to provide them with pain relief.

The prosecutor, Ron O’Brien, states these doses of fentanyl were knowingly lethal. Pharmacists at the medical system where Dr. Husel practiced alerted authorities to the doctor’s prescribing habits. Nurses, administrators, and pharmacists at the facility are on leave for not challenging the doctor sooner and continuing to let him practice in such a destructive, dangerous manner. Of the 25 patient’s that were killed due to the improper use of fentanyl, investigators believe 4 would have lived if they were treated appropriately. Dr. Husel faces up to 15 years in prison for the death of each patient.

What is fentanyl and How is it Used?

Fentanyl and carfentanil are synthetic opioids. The cause of over dose deaths is commonly linked to synthetic opioids. In fact 59% of opioid related deaths were attributed to fentanyl in 2017. Fentanyl is significantly more powerful than morphine. The drug is up to 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine. Fentanyl is commonly mixed with heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and ecstasy. Most drug users are unaware of this fact.

However, a little fentanyl produces a significant high so therefore, it is more cost effective for dealers and users. The synthetic opioid is also extremely addictive so this means return business for drug dealers. The medication is used for chronic pain relief when other narcotics like Norco and Percocet are no longer effective. Fentanyl works just like other narcotics, it binds to the opioid receptors in the brain blocking the pain receptors. However, if used frequently a patient can develop a tolerance and require more drug for the same effect. If too much fentanyl or other narcotic is used by a patient they are at risk for respiratory depression, meaning they could stop breathing and die.

ArborYpsi Law Takeaways

Fentanyl use is on the rise. Fentanyl is being used as a cheap and strong substitute for traditional drugs, such as heroin, and is being used to lace other drugs, often unbeknownst to the user. It is not only extremely addictive in small amounts, but potentially lethal in higher amounts.

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Call Sam Bernstein at 734-883-9584 or e-mail at

Sam Bernstein is a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor.

ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave. Ann Arbor, MI 48108.

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If you have been charged with dealing or using fentanyl, narcotics, or other street drugs contact ArborYpsi Law. At ArborYpsi Law we specialize in Criminal Defense in Ann Arbor, MI. We are focused on getting the best possible outcome for you. We do not judge our clients and will strive to get all criminal charges dismissed. ArborYpsi law focuses on DUIs, DWIs, domestic violence, traffic tickets, drug possession, expungements, gun rights, divorce, assault and battery, animal cruelty, retail fraud, home invasion, and sexual assault.