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

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Hardcover, Random House Inc, 2013, ISBN13 9780307718969, ISBN10 0307718964

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Important Made in USA Origin Disclaimer: For certain items sold by Walmart on Walmart.com, the displayed country of origin information may not be accurate or consistent with manufacturer information. For updated, accurate country of origin data, it is recommended that you rely on product packaging or manufacturer information.
Reconstructs five days at Memorial Medical Center after Hurricane Katrina destroyed its generators to reveal how caregivers were forced to make life-and-death decisions without essential resources.

About this item

Important Made in USA Origin Disclaimer: For certain items sold by Walmart on Walmart.com, the displayed country of origin information may not be accurate or consistent with manufacturer information. For updated, accurate country of origin data, it is recommended that you rely on product packaging or manufacturer information.

Reconstructs five days at Memorial Medical Center after Hurricane Katrina destroyed its generators to reveal how caregivers were forced to make life-and-death decisions without essential resources.

Pulitzer Prize winner Sheri Fink's landmark investigation of patient deaths at a New Orleans hospital ravaged by Hurricane Katrina - and her suspenseful portrayal of the quest for truth and justice In the tradition of the best investigative journalism, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs 5 days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the reader into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and to maintain life amid chaos. 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. Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, 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. In a voice at once involving and fair, masterful and intimate, Fink exposes the hidden dilemmas of end-of-life care and reveals just how ill-prepared we are in America for the impact of large-scale disasters-and how we can do better. A remarkable book, engrossing from start to finish, Five Days at Memorial radically transforms your understanding of human nature in crisis.

Specifications

Number of Pages: 558
Original Languages: English
Author: Fink, Sheri
Series Title: ALA Notable Books for Adults
Book Format: Hardcover
Primary Shelf ID: 583627
Publisher: Random House Inc
Publication Date: September, 2013
ISBN-13: 9780307718969
Digital Video Formats: Hardcover
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H): 6.50 x 9.50 x 2.00 Inches
ISBN-10: 0307718964
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5 DAYS AT MEMORIAL is a cold look at humanity
4/9/2014

Customer review by slouchycowman

5.0 stars 4/9/2014 by slouchycowman
by slouchycowman
Top 50 contributor

FIVE DAYS AT MEMORIAL is the story of the Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital. The author is Sheri Fink Eight years ago, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. Floodwaters rose in the Uptown streets surrounding Memorial Medical Center, where hundreds of people slowly realized that they were stranded. The power grid failed, toilets overflowed, stench-filled corridors went dark. Diesel generators gave partial electricity. Hospital staff members smashed windows to circulate air. Gunshots could be heard, echoing in the city. When evacuations were done, 45 patients did not made it out alive. The State of Louisiana began an investigation; forensic consultants determined that 23 corpses had elevated levels of morphine and other drugs, and decided that 20 were victims of homicide. 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. The book is well paced and covers the five daysas the title states. The viewpoint shifts to an entwined legal and political story in which state authorities pursue a homicide investigation. That so many people, starkly divided over the question of whether crimes had been committed, come off as decent and appealing makes this book an absorbing read. Dr. Fink brings a shimmering intelligence to its many narrative cul-de-sacs, which consider medical, legal and ethical issues. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to others. Thank you for reading my review.

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slouchycowman
Glenville, PA
Would recommend to a friend? Yes
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Top 50 contributor

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