Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Background Information on the Hurricane Katrina Alledged Euthanasia

Healthcare PSI blogger DK Raymer found an interview with ProPublica reporter Sheri Fink who discusses her piece that appeared in The New York Times, Strained by Katrina, a Hospital Faced Deadly Choices.
What continues to fascinate me is that even in the Fink interview, at least as displayed above, there is little recognition that people died -- no, were apparently killed -- because physicians did not know how to cope with their illnesses or disabilities within the environment of a disaster.

The worry I think even for Fink, I infer, is to avoid putting doctors and other medical professionals in situations where they might be forced to kill again.

From The New York Times article

Emmett Everett, a 380-pound man — was “very aware” of his surroundings. He had fed himself breakfast that morning and asked Robichaux, “So are we ready to rock and roll?”

The 61-year-old Honduran-born manual laborer was at LifeCare awaiting colostomy surgery to ease chronic bowel obstruction, according to his medical records. Despite a freakish spinal-cord stroke that left him a paraplegic at age 50, his wife and nurses who worked with him say he maintained a good sense of humor and a rich family life, and he rarely complained. He ...had no D.N.R. order.

Everett’s roommates had already been taken downstairs on their way to the helicopters, whose loud propellers sent a breeze through the windows on his side of the LifeCare floor. Several times he appealed to his nurse, “Don’t let them leave me behind.” His only complaint that morning was dizziness ... .

... what happened next. She told Justice Department investigators that she watched Pou and two nurses draw fluid from vials into syringes. Then Johnson guided them to Emmett Everett in Room 7307.
What happened to Emmett Everett has nothing to do with disaster planning; it has everything to do with doctors being unable to deal with a specific situation and choosing the easy way out.
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