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Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital

de Sheri Fink

Outros autores: Veja a seção outros autores.

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaConversas / Menções
1,24315712,001 (4.15)1 / 297
Fink provides a landmark investigation of patient deaths at a New Orleans hospital ravaged by Hurricane Katrina-- and a suspenseful portrayal of the quest for truth and justice. After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths. Fink unspools the mystery of what happened in those days, bringing the reader into a hospital fighting for its life and into a conversation about the most terrifying form of health care rationing.… (mais)
  1. 40
    Zeitoun de Dave Eggers (TooBusyReading)
    TooBusyReading: Both books are fascinating and heartbreaking looks at how much went wrong as Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.
  2. 10
    I Remember Nothing More de Adina Blady Szwajger (akblanchard)
    akblanchard: Desperate circumstances force physicians to make decisions that no one should have to make.
  3. 10
    The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast de Douglas Brinkley (IsolaBlue)
  4. 00
    Theatre of Fish: Travels Through Newfoundland and Labrador de John Gimlette (Sandwich76)
  5. 00
    A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge de Josh Neufeld (pbirch01)
  6. 00
    In the Wake of Terror: Medicine and Morality in a Time of Crisis de Jonathan D. Moreno (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Moreno's book is pure ethics; Fink's book is a dramatic story about people trying to deal with a disaster and ethics at the same time.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 158 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
This book doesn’t so much concentrate on the horrific conditions at New Orleans’ Baptist Memorial Hospital in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, although it does describe the terrible conditions and the chaotic government response in horrifying detail. The main story here, is of a Dr. and two nurses who injected terminal patients with morphine and other opiate drugs, causing their deaths.

The medical personnel were arrested by what appears to be an overly zealous Louisiana Attorney General who intended to use their prosecutions as part of his re-election campaign. Fully half of the book covers the prosecution of these individuals, and by the end of the book the reader is left in a mire of moral ambiguity, and wondering just what the right answer to these end-of-life questions are. ( )
  etxgardener | Oct 18, 2021 |

Sheri Fink's book, "Five Days at Memorial" describes the chaos and crisis in caring for the seriously ill at Memorial Hospital in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Few of us have to make life-changing decisions under normal circumstances, and even fewer have to make decisions like that in a crisis situation when life has been turned upside down.

"Five Days at Memorial" gives us a behind-the-scenes look at crisis patient care at a hospital loosing power, medicine, diagnostic equipment, surgical equipment, etc., all while total evacuation is required and the hospital itself is rendered unsafe. With everything flooded, dangerous looting going on in the outskirts, national guard troops being called in, staff shortages, evacuation options almost non-existent, things couldn't be worse. Yet patients still needed to be cared for. How can the medical care-givers do their job without planning, without tools, and with chaos all around, all while being evacuated to places and conditions unknown. This was the situation faced by caregivers in the book, and the choices were all but impossible to reconcile.

As Fink explains, a number of patients died at this time, many due to receiving what proved to be lethal doses of medication. Was that by design, or an unfortunate accident under no-win decisions being made? That's the subject described in this powerful and tragic situation. Fink then goes on to describe, after her extensive research into the situation, how those decisions played out in the courts.

The book is truly an incredible review of a truly incredible situation. Very thought provoking, and very disturbing. After reading this book, I'm sure we all will pray we won't be caught in a similar situation, either as patient or caregiver. ( )
  rsutto22 | Jul 15, 2021 |
This is a well-written and well-referenced account of Hurricane Katrina's impact on New Orleans hospitals (especially Memorial) and the resulting concerns about patient mismanagement--specifically, claims of selective euthanasia. The narrative works to unravel the complex mix of medical ethics under pressure, potential corporate irresponsibility, sensationalized media, and the aftermath of legal wrangling.

Don't skip the epilogue, which takes a look at subsequent emergency management (Hurricane Sandy) and the tentative--although perhaps stalled?--planning for future medical crises. Among the good points raised are: the dangers of tunnel vision happening during a crisis, the possibility that dependence on high-tech medical devices could short-circuit creative thinking, and the benefits of more widespread "deliberative polling" to develop crisis management plans with citizen input.

A very thought-provoking book. ( )
  Karzke | Apr 10, 2021 |
Impeccably researched, hard story that needed telling. Very well written. ( )
  FurbyKirby | Jan 5, 2021 |
A worm’s eye view of a hospital coping through hurricane Katrina. A monumental marathon volume, exhaustive and exhausting.
I had to modify my reading style to get through its 850 pages, I made reading a priority, which it should be, and kept at it, skimming a lot of the time (not usually my style).
The middle section seemed repetitive. All the political and legal manoeuvring at the end, gave the story comic flavour, a bizarre fiasco.
( )
  GeoffSC | Jul 25, 2020 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 158 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
What developed over the five days, in a hospital ironically well supplied with bottled water and food, and resupplied by air with drugs, was a system of triage that varied depending on which company had responsibility for the patients.

Against this background, it would later be alleged, key Tenet personnel discussed, and then carried out, euthanasia on the terminally ill patients even as relief was imminent.

Fink is in no doubt that some kind of crime took place even if she is fair and deeply sympathetic to the plight of the exhausted medical staff involved. "Moral clarity," she writes, describing the moment the patients were injected with a powerful cocktail of drugs, "was easier to maintain in concept than in execution."

If the beginning of the book is sometimes awkwardly structured, Fink finds her stride a few chapters in and make this a tight, provocative and gripping read.
adicionado por smasler | editarThe Guardian (UK), Peter Beaumont (Feb 7, 2014)
 
Five Days at Memorial is thorough reporting about what happened at New Orleans’ Memorial Medical Center during Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Sheri Fink, who is both a journalist and a Ph.D. neuroscientist, won the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting for the 2009 New York Times/Pro Publica article “Deadly Choices at Memorial,” which became the basis for this book. ... Fink’s journalism chops show, particularly in her attention to detail and her unwillingness to paint anyone as a villain. Some readers may feel that she’s not tough enough on Dr. Pou, but what Fink has really accomplished here is putting the reader on the spot, with one crisis after another and no real hope of rescue.
adicionado por KelMunger | editarLit/Rant, Kel Munger (Oct 19, 2013)
 
In her book “Five Days at Memorial,” Dr. Sheri Fink explores the excruciating struggle of medical professionals deciding to give fatal injections to those at the brink of death. Dr. Fink, a physician turned journalist, won a Pulitzer Prize for her investigation of these events in a 2009 joint assignment for ProPublica and The New York Times Magazine. This book is much more than an extension of that report. Although she had the material for a gripping disaster story, Dr. Fink has slowed the narrative pulse to investigate situational ethics: what happens when caregivers steeped in medicine’s supreme value, preserving life, face traumatic choices as the standards of civilization collapse.
adicionado por smasler | editarThe New York Times, Jason Berry (Sep 3, 2013)
 

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Sheri Finkautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Potter, KirstenReaderautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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For Mary Fink, every living moment
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(Prologue) At last through the broken windows, the pulse of helicopter rotors and airboat propellers set the summer morning air throbbing with the promise of rescue.
For certain New Orleanians, Memorial Medical Center was the place you went to ride out each hurricane that the loop current of the Gulf of Mexico launched like a pinball at the city.
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Emergencies are crucibles that contain and reveal the daily, slower-burning problems of medicine and beyond—our vulnerabilities; our trouble grappling with uncertainty, how we die, how we prioritize and divide what is most precious and vital and limited; even our biases and blindnesses.
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Fink provides a landmark investigation of patient deaths at a New Orleans hospital ravaged by Hurricane Katrina-- and a suspenseful portrayal of the quest for truth and justice. After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths. Fink unspools the mystery of what happened in those days, bringing the reader into a hospital fighting for its life and into a conversation about the most terrifying form of health care rationing.

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