Memorial Medical Center

Health
2:05 am
Tue September 10, 2013

During Katrina, 'Memorial' Doctors Chose Who Lived, Who Died

Floodwaters from Hurricane Katrina fill the streets near downtown New Orleans on Aug. 30, 2005.
David J. Phillip AP

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 6:08 am

On Aug. 30, 2005, a doctor climbed the stairs through a New Orleans hospital to the helipad, which was rarely used, and so old and rusted it wasn't even painted with the hospital's current name.

From that helipad over Memorial Medical Center, the doctor looked out over New Orleans, now flooding after Hurricane Katrina. He considered the more than 2,000 people in the hospital below — 244 of them patients.

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Health
2:38 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

'Five Days' Of Ambiguous Morality At Katrina-Hit Hospital

An aerial view of Memorial Medical Center surrounded by floodwaters on Sept. 9, 2005.
Kathy Anderson The Times-Picayune/Landov

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 5:26 pm

If we didn't experience Hurricane Katrina ourselves, we saw it: the ominous red pinwheel on the radar, the wrecked Superdome, the corpses. And certainly we saw our shame — America's inequality, negligence and violence were all laid bare by the storm.

But one tragedy went largely unwitnessed. And this is the subject of Sheri Fink's provocative new book, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital. The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer examines what happens when people make life-and-death decisions in a state of anarchy.

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