Saturday, October 15, 2005

It is important that

someone be punished for Katrina. Blame must be assigned, people must be incarcerated, heads must roll. Any loss of life that can possibly be ascribed to humans not connected to the government must be investigated. Instead of investigating the complete breakdown of common sense and governmental responsibility, instead of investigating why the hospitals weren't at the top of the evacuation list, we must seek out and punish those who may have made decisions based on what was best for the patient at the time instead of some governmental dictate. As a medical professional I can tell you that choking to death (asphyxiation) is a horrible way to go. Tends to happen when you need electricity to power the respirators. For the people watching it is traumatic as a person gasps for breath, struggling and gurgling, turning a shade that is not seen on a living human being before finally going limp. It is not like on television, unless you are emotionally broken, you will feel something and it won't be pleasant.
La. Investigates Allegations of Euthanasia at Hospital: "At the same time, several criminal investigations are underway. Foti, the attorney general, last month charged the operators of St. Rita's nursing home with 34 counts of negligent homicide after they abandoned patients there. More recently, he initiated the investigation of the deaths at Memorial after a physician there told news outlets he had heard discussions of euthanizing the most frail patients.

That investigation is 'pretty serious' and could last two weeks, Foti's spokeswoman, Kris Wartelle, said Friday evening.

Memorial's parent company, Tenet Healthcare Corp., released a brief statement commending the 'heroic' work of the hospital staff and indicating it is cooperating with the investigation."
Now that it is after the fact, let's not let the paper pushers do their thing. This is one of those stories that people should say "it was a shame that happened, let's not let it happen again", and move on. These doctors weren't trying to do experiments, they weren't arbitrarily selecting people based on some arcane criteria. They were doing the best they could under ridiculous circumstances.

We put our animals to sleep because we don't want them to suffer but Grandma and Grandpa must struggle until their very last breath, as if they were being punished for every bad thing they had ever done in their life. I had a shift in the San Diego Hospice and what people are willing to put their "loved" ones through just because they can't let them go is more than heartbreaking. For a country that says it is for the death penalty we seem to have a major problem with letting innocent people die with dignity. There comes a point where it is the quality, not the quantity of life that is important. Those doctors made medical decisions, based on their best judgement, under severe circumstances, and they don't need to be second guessed now. As if they aren't reliving their decisions on a regular basis.

Just because we come into the world kicking and screaming doesn't mean we have to exit the same way.

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