Sheri Fink's new book, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital, is investigation of patient deaths at a New Orleans hospital ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.
From her Q & A with Marjorie Kehe for the Christian Science Monitor:
Q. The doctor and two nurses charged with euthanizing patients were never prosecuted. Do you feel that justice was done?Visit Sheri Fink's website.
I really prefer to let the people who were involved in these events give their opinions on that, and they have very strong opinions about it in all directions. What I can say is that American medical ethics are very clear on this question of whether it is ever appropriate to hasten death in the case of a crisis, and the answer is no.
The families, for the most part, are very upset about what happened. I think the medical professionals may have thought that the families would [have wanted their loved ones] to be given comfort and helped to die in that situation. But you can’t just presume what people would feel in that situation.
Different people had different opinions and they are represented in the book. A lot of people did focus their anger on the hospital corporation and look to some compensation for the lack of preparedness.
There was a class action lawsuit that was settled for $25 million on behalf of anybody who either was in the hospital, lost a loved one, and a lot of people are very upset about the amount they received, especially after it had been strung out for so many years. They didn’t get their money till this year.
I think that there are a lot of families who feel that justice was not done. But......[read on]