Before I read the news of the Memorial Hospital, I didn’t realize that a natural disaster can cause such kind of tragedy that people are killed by others because of the limited resources. Thus, I was wondering what are the problems cause this tragedy?
The first problem is that the hospital is not well designed and well managed. From the report, we can know that the “Memorial Medical Center was situated on one of the low points in the bowl that is New Orleans, three miles southwest of the city’s French Quarter and three feet below sea level.” Which is not a safe place. It was built in 1926 and not originally designed as a hospital. It was purchased in 1995 by Tenet Healthcare, then becomes a hospital. Also, the “facilities personnel had warned after Hurricane Ivan in 2004. Fixing the problem would be costly; a few less-expensive improvements were made.” We can know that though the hospital knows that there will be risks, they choose to save money, but not really solve the problems. Moreover, when designing the hospital, they didn’t consider the situation of elevators out of function, so that the patient that has severe health problems cannot be transported easily. The second problem is that the rescue recourses is limited, the rescue team cannot always stop by and carry the patients, and can only take a little portion of people at a time. The third problem is that the doctors decided that the patients with D.N.R. should not be rescued first, and they simply classified the patients into 3 groups according to their health and movability, and let the movable ones leave first. The D.N.R. only works when the patients have no breath and blood flow, which means that they want to die naturally, but does not mean that they do not want to be alive, otherwise they will even not come to the hospital. Also, regardless of the real situation of the patients but only takes their movability into account is not reasonable. If there is a need to sacrifice some of the patients, we should consider that how many years can they still live, what’s the possibility that they are going to recover, what recourses they will need, etc. There should be a more thorough analysis. Moreover, the patients with better conditions are less likely to get medical care in other hospitals after being rescued, as the other hospitals are full of patients, the priority will be saving people’s lives, but not curing people has no life-threatening danger in short period. Thus, in my opinion, the people that need most care need to be rescued first, as they are more likely to get help in other hospitals, and have a greater chance to be alive. The fourth problem is that the doctors and nurses inject morphine to let the patients die, regardless of the patients’ will. In my view, comfort care can be continuing to give them morphine, with a small amount, so that they can keep sleeping, and don’t need to be anxious, panic and painful because of the horrible situation and their disease. Or doctors and nurses can ask whether there is someone who does not want to live anymore, or would like to sacrifice themselves, and give them a deadly shot.