Arrests in Memorial Medical Center Katrina Deaths

During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina thirty-four patient deaths at the New Orleans Memorial Medical Center raised suspicions of mercy killings. Rapid investigation of the bodies was delayed by their decomposition. Today they have arrested a doctor and two nurses and charged them with “principal to second-degree murder.”

According to Fox News, conditions were bad at the center after Katrina:

Memorial had been cut off by flooding as the Aug. 29 hurricane swamped New Orleans. Power was out in the 317-bed hospital and the temperatures inside rose over 100 degrees as the staff tried to tend to patients who waited four days to be evacuated.

Even so, it certainly doesn't sound like things were so dire that mass euthanization of thirty-four patients was justified in those four days.

One has to wonder what it would take to justify such a thing. Perhaps no hope of rescue and constant suffering would be key justifications. Perhaps the doctors and nurses were watching the pronouncements of doom in the major media at the time and came to that grisly conclusion. Most of those pronouncements, of course, just weren't true.

Does that mean the cliché “Society is to blame” is actually true in this one?

Josh Poulson

Posted Tuesday, Jul 18 2006 08:48 AM

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There is one comment on this entry.

I can not imagine what it must have been like. To be stuck with no running water, no power and sweltering heat. Cut off with no evacuation in sight and patients suffering. Easing pain and Killing are two different things. I have been following this story with great disbelief.


Posted Monday, Jul 24 2006 11:28 PM

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