Doctors working in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans killed critically ill patients rather than leave them to die in agony as they evacuated.
With gangs of rapists and looters rampaging through wards in the flooded city, senior doctors took the harrowing decision to give massive overdoses of morphine to those they believed could not make it out alive.
One New Orleans doctor told how she "prayed for God to have mercy on her soul" after she ignored every tenet of medical ethics and ended the lives of patients she had earlier fought to save.
Her heart-rending account has been corroborated by a hospital orderly and by local government officials.
One emergency official, William Forest McQueen, said: "Those who had no chance of making it were given a lot of morphine and lain down in a dark place to die."
Euthanasia is illegal in Louisiana and the doctors spoke only on condition on anonymity.
Their families believe their confessions are an indictment of the appalling failure of US authorities to help those in desperate need after Hurricane Katrina flooded the city, claiming thousands of lives and making 500,000 homeless.
New Orleans doctors euthanized patients
This story isn't getting much play in the American media just yet, but the foreign press is reporting it.