- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 18, 2019

BOSTON (AP) - Federal prosecutors say a former nurse at a veterans’ hospital in Massachusetts took liquid morphine intended for dying patients for her own use and then administered diluted doses.

Prosecutors say 55-year-old Kathleen Noftle took the drugs in 2017 from veterans under her care in the hospice unit at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Bedford.

They say in one case, a veteran who received a diluted dose of morphine experienced increased difficulty breathing and increased suffering in his final days.

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The Tewksbury woman was arrested Wednesday and released on personal recognizance after an initial court appearance. Not guilty pleas to charges of obtaining a controlled substance by misrepresentation and tampering with a consumer product were entered on her behalf.

A voicemail was left with her federal public defender.

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