Hospitals In Katrina

When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, almost nothing worked. The phone lines were down, the hallways were flooded. There was no electricity in the buildings. After dark, no one could see anything. The people who couldn’t be moved from the hospitals were still stuck in their beds. And some of the doctors wanted to put them out of their misery.

Hospital Conditions

The conditions in the hospitals were no better than anywhere else. One of the hospitals reported to the New York Times “In a lot of ways, we’re functioning as if we were in a developing country at this point.” Most of New Orleans in very poor working condition, but it may have been worse for the hospitals because they were all supposed to be taking care of people, but they couldn’t manage that at all. Contrary to popular belief, hospitals are not impervious to natural disasters. “The lights are down, which means that medication must be rushed through sodden hallways by flashlight after dark. The ventilators are down, which meant that, for a while, nurses had to pump the airbags of pulmonary cases by hand” said a New York Times article talking about one of the many hospitals that have been swamped by the hurricane. Another article by LifeSiteNews said “The report describes the deplorable conditions in the hospital which was left without power, without sewage removal facilities, and in soaring temperatures with looters attempting to enter the hospital.”

"Mercy Killings"

Euthanasia is when someone is purposefully killed because of lack of medical treatment or overdose of drugs. In some hospitals, the patients were dosed with a deadly dose of dugs that killed them. In an article In New York Times, it said “patients were injected with what he described as a “lethal cocktail” of morphine and midazolam hydrochloride that “guarantees they are going to die.” The mixture of drugs was given at many different hospitals to “help” patients.

Many doctors were arrested after the hurricane because of their role in giving patients overdoses of drugs. “In other words, the only way the staff could evacuate was if they could report there were no more living patients to take care of. This was not about compassion or mercy. It was about throwing someone else over the side of the lifeboat in order to save themselves.” Each case was different, but the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina left many questions unanswered about what the doctors had done to the patients. “Not Dead Yet, a national disability rights organization that leads the disability community’s opposition to legalized assisted suicide, euthanasia and other forms of medical killing, points to a section of the NPR report suggesting the staff wanted to eliminate the patients so they could themselves escape.”

Vocabulary

"Euthanasia - Also called mercy killing, the act of putting to death painlessly or allowing to die, as by withholding extreme medical measures, a person or animal suffering from an incurable, esp. a painful, disease or condition."

"Subpoena – The usual writ for the summoning of witnesses or the submission of evidence, as records or documents, before a court or other deliberative body."

Sources

LifeSiteNews.com:
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/printerfriendlynew.html?articleid=06022201

New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/18/us/18cnd-orleans.html?hp&ex=1153281600&en=fe902583cbf01178&ei=5094&partner=homepage

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A05EFDB1731F932A3575AC0A9639C8B63&sec=&spon=&&scp=2&sq=hospitals%20in%20hurricane%20katrina&st=cse

NRLC.org:
http://www.nrlc.org/news/2005/NRL11/KatrinaEuthanasia.html

Dictionary.com:
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/euthanasia

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/subpoenaed

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