The doctor who oversaw the practice of prescribing powerful painkillers at Gosport War Memorial Hospital was working in a “very inadequately resourced part of the health service”.
More than 450 patients died after being given the drugs inappropriately, a report concluded last week.
A statement read out on behalf of Dr Jane Barton said she was a “doctor doing the best for her patients”.
The report’s findings have led to calls for an inquiry from families.
Dr Barton appeared outside her Gosport home where the statement was read out by her husband Tim Barton.
He said: “Jane would like to thank her family, friends, colleagues, former patients and the many others for their continued support and loyalty through this protracted inquiry.
“She has always maintained she was a hardworking, dedicated doctor – doing the best for her patients in a very inadequately resourced part of the health service.
“We ask that our privacy is respected at this difficult time and she will be making no further comments.”
The independent panel’s report found there was a “disregard for human life” at the hospital from 1989 to 2000.
It said taking into account missing records, a further 200 patients may have also had their lives shortened.
There was an “institutionalised regime” of prescribing and administering “dangerous” amounts of a medication not clinically justified, the report said.
Hampshire Constabulary, which was criticised in the report for the way it handled three previous investigations which failed to lead to any prosecutions, is to hand over any new inquiry to another force.
Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney apologised for the force’s “part in the distress caused to families for so many years”.
The Gosport Independent Panel’s report found whistleblowers and families were ignored as they attempted to raise concerns about the administration of medication on the wards, which was overseen by Dr Barton.
Dr Barton was found guilty of failings in her care of 12 patients at Gosport between 1996 and 1999.
She was not struck off the medical register but chose to retire after the findings.