Victims’ families react to former Mount Carmel doctor’s arrest

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A six-month long investigation is finally giving alleged victims’ families some relief.

Former Mount Carmel Doctor William Husel is facing 25 counts of murder, accused of intentionally giving patients overdoses of the drug fentanyl.

A few of the families of patients Husel is accused of killing said his arrest Wednesday is one step they have been hoping for.

Tears welled up in David Austin’s eyes as he thought about his wife of 37 years, Bonnie, who passed away under Husel’s care.

“The love of my life, I picture her right now,” Austin said. 

Husel is accused of giving Bonnie Austin 600 micrograms of fentanyl.

“I can’t blame him, he’s a doctor. I figured he knew what he was talking about it,” Austin said.

She was rushed to the hospital last September after having a heart attack and a collapsed lung.

“According to the ER doctor, she was going to make it,” Austin said.

However, he said she died shortly after.

Husel was fired from the Columbus-area Mount Carmel Health System in December and stripped of his medical license after the allegations against him began to surface. An internal hospital investigation found that he had ordered potentially fatal drug doses for dozens of patients over his five years at the hospital.

Wednesday, more than two dozen families had to relive their loved ones’ deaths as Husel turned himself in to police and was indicted on 25 counts of murder.

“It gives some validity to what he was doing wasn’t right,” Christopher Thomas said.

Thomas said he lost his mother under Husel’s care at Mount Carmel.

“She was in the hospital for 24 hours, under his care less than 3 hours,” Thomas said.

Investigators and prosecutors settled on 500 micrograms as the threshold for the murder charges. 

Both Thomas’ mother and Robert Hodge’s mother were given 800 micrograms of fentanyl.

“It definitely took the trust away from doctors,” Hodge said. 

As for the motive, they just want to know why. 

“No one ever will know. He’s the only person who will know what his motive was,” Hodge said.

Families of the alleged victims said they can only hope better measures are put in place at hospitals so this can’t happen again.

“My mom is not around anymore, so that’s the worst part. The whole thing we could lose in this situation, we already lost, so hopefully it doesn’t happen to other families,” Jacob Hodge said.

The families said they plan to be in the courtroom to face Husel.

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