September 11, 2005
Out of options
Doctors working in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans killed critically ill patients rather than leaving them to die in agony as they evacuated hospitals, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
With gangs of rapists and looters rampaging through wards in the flooded city, senior doctors took the harrowing decision to give massive overdoses of morphine to those they believed could not make it out alive.
In an extraordinary interview with The Mail on Sunday, one New Orleans doctor told how she ‘prayed for God to have mercy on her soul’ after she ignored every tenet of medical ethics and ended the lives of patients she had earlier fought to save.
Her heart-rending account has been corroborated by a hospital orderly and by local government officials. One emergency official, William ‘Forest’ McQueen, said: “Those who had no chance of making it were given a lot of morphine and lain down in a dark place to die.”
… The doctor said: “I didn’t know if I was doing the right thing. But I did not have time. I had to make snap decisions, under the most appalling circumstances, and I did what I thought was right.
“I injected morphine into those patients who were dying and in agony. If the first dose was not enough, I gave a double dose. And at night I prayed to God to have mercy on my soul.”
The doctor, who finally fled her hospital late last week in fear of being murdered by the armed looters, said: “This was not murder, this was compassion. They would have been dead within hours, if not days. We did not put people down. What we did was give comfort to the end.
The Mail on Sunday said it is “protecting the identities of the medical staff concerned to prevent them being made scapegoats” in the aftermath of Katrina.
Good decision, given that Bush could sure use some right now.
TrackBack URL for this entry:
As im sure you are aware, or are you, it is not the federal governments responsibility to have a disaster plan for every city in every state in the union. This responsibility falls totally on the shoulders of the state and local governments and their elected heads. All of which, in La are democrats and have been for over 5 decades. Instead of drinking the koolaid, maybe, just maybe you should pick up some books and learn just how your government is supposed to work.
Posted by: bert adams at September 12, 2005 6:30 PM