Interesting. Many in the medical community are outraged that a doctor and two nurses are being charge in the mercy killings during Hurricane Katrina.
Dr. Ben deBoisblanc, director of critical care at Charity Hospital, said he and others are angry at the accusations against a doctor and nurses who risked their own safety, and provided care in a chaotic and frightening situation.
“This doctor and these nurses were heroes. They stayed behind of their own volition to care for desperately ill people. They had an opportunity to leave and chose not to,” he said.
I certainly wondered how the medical community was going to side on this issue, and after reading a little more about the conditions they faced, I’m even more convinced they did the right thing.
Memorial Medical was swamped with 10 feet of water and isolated by Katrina’s flooding. The 317-bed hospital had no electricity and the temperature inside rose over 100 degrees as the staff tried to tend to patients who waited four days to be evacuated.
“We had no communication floor to floor, much less to the outside world. We were surrounded by water. It was hotter than Hades,” said Dr. Gregory Vorhoff, who was at Memorial after the storm but left to seek help before the alleged killings. “It was as bad as you can imagine.”
Under such conditions, even patients who might have been able to walk or were relatively stable before Katrina could easily have lapsed into critical condition, doctors say.
I’m watching, and I’m sure America is watching, this case with avid interest. Although the phrase, “Desperate times call for desperate measures,” seems trite, it fits this situation quite well.