American Justice

Season 12 Episode 5

A Questionable Doctor

Aired Tuesday 7:00 PM Mar 05, 2003 on A&E
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Episode Summary

A Questionable Doctor
A look at how the justice system handled the unique case of Dr. L. Stan Naramore, who was convicted of attempting to murder a 78-year-old terminally ill woman and of killing an 81-year-old farmer. But "tough Irish" defense attorney Kurt Kerns, who "bawled like a baby" and threw up when Naramore was convicted, later persuaded the Kansas Board of Appeals to issue a highly unusual ruling. Included in this episode are interviews with Naramore and Kerns.
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  • I feel this episode captures the exact reason people should pay more attention to what is happening in the judicial system. I am from northwest Kansas, less than 60 miles from where this happened. I also work in the medical field.moreless

    I have not worked with this doctor. However, I have been in the ER when a person is resuscitated and based solely on what was presented in this episode, this doctor did nothing wrong in either of the cases presented in this episode. Clearly the people accusing this doctor are lay people and do not understand the process or the rationale for what was being done for their loved ones. As for the administrator, I've taken note of his name and will be sure not to work in a facility where he is employed. While this episode says he is also a RN, I have to question whether or not, before this incident, he'd ever been in the same room where attempts were being made to save a life or keep another human being comfortable in their death. When a person has been tubed (a tube inserted to assist with breathing) it IS usually necessary to give medicines to keep them comfortable and from "bucking" the tube. If you've ever seen it, it's not pretty - but necessary. The Jurors interviewed - I know them both; the gal better than the guy. The guy owns/manages a bowling alley - there are no types of medical care given there. The gal is a nurse aide - one of those that know more than the people that have spent the time, money, and tears for their education in the field. To the best of my knowledge, she has never been in an ER situation where a person was dying and efforts were being made to either keep them alive or keep them comfortable. I completely agree with the pharmacist friend of the Doctor when she said that, in this country, you are supposed to have a jury of your peers. These people had no medical training, nor did they have adequate medical experience to know or understand what had happened, why, and whether or not the actions of the Doctor were within the standards of care. Even if the information had been presented to them in the trial, it is more complex than a day or two of explanations and there is no substitute for hands-on experience -- up close and personal when you are the one standing there and responsible. The Judge - (I also know) in my opinion used poor judgment when he did not allow the trial to be moved. Anyone that lives in northwest Kansas knows that, true or not, if you've been convicted in the eyes of the community, you will be convicted in a court room. This was a huge American In-Justice...all too common in northwest Kansas.moreless

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