With Sherman’s approval, the trainee doctors ordered an injection of meperidine, an opiate sedative, to try to quell her jerking. Then the intern and resident intermittently spent about two hours with her, until Stone went across the street to the hospital’s sleeping quarters to nap. Weinstein concentrated on the other patients. Around three in the morning, a nurse called her to report that Libby was trying to yank her tubes out. Weinstein ordered restraints and a shot of haloperidol, an antipsychotic. Libby slept, but at dawn her fever surged to 107 degrees, she went into cardiac arrest, and died.

Weinstein called the family. She and the hospital took the position that the young woman had a “bad outcome” from a strange and unknown infection. Soon it became known that mixing the dying woman’s antidepressant Nardil (phenelzine) with Demerol (meperidine hydrochloride, an anti-spasmodic and painkiller) could trigger a fatal drug interaction.

Sidney Zion’s rage was towering, his grief bottomless, and his connections legendary. “Murder” was how he described his daughter’s demise: “They gave her a drug that was destined to kill her, then ignored her except to tie her down like a dog.” He lacerated the venerable hospital for the hazing of residents that forced them to work for days at a clip and sometimes over a hundred hours per week. “You don’t need kindergarten,” he inveighed in a New York Times op-ed piece, “to know that a resident working a 36-hour shift is in no condition to make any kind of judgment call—forget about life and death.”

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