Awards: National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, 2013
ISBN:9780307718969 (hardcover) :
ISBN:0307718964 (hardcover) :
Includes bibliographical references (p. -542) and index.
Deadly choices -- Reckoning.
Here the author, a physician and reporter 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. She 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. She unspools the mystery of what happened in those days, of a hospital fighting for its life and into a conversation about the most terrifying form of health care rationing. In this book, she 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.