what are the problems cause this tragedy in Memorial Hospital

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.

4 thoughts on “what are the problems cause this tragedy in Memorial Hospital

  1. I agree with your statement that Memorial Hospital was not designed adequately to fulfill its duties as a hospital. I do however recognize that in certain economically disadvantaged areas, compromises like these have to be made. One thing I was wondering while reading this article was if they could’ve evacuated the hospital prior to the storm. It seems like the area had advanced knowledge that Katrina was going to be deadly. Additionally, the article stated that the hospital was four feet below sea level. In my opinion, if possible, they should have evacuated before the storm hit.

    As far as the choices made by the doctors in the hospital, I do understand the choices that they made. They had to evacuate thousands of patients, and they were largely successful. Also, it was in question whether or not the patients who were in worsened conditions would have survived the move at all. According to Dr. Diechmann, the doctor who initially floated this idea, “I believed they should go last because they would have had the ‘least to lose’ compared with other patients if calamity struck.” Here, Diechmann suggests that these patients would not be guaranteed to reach the new destination safely, so the patients who could make the move were evacuated first. Additionally, when this decision was made. It was still believed that every single patient would be evacuated. It was not as if they were planning on leaving these people behind. Therefore, for the circumstances that the doctors were in, they did the best they could with limited help/resources.

  2. After reading this post I disagreed with the opinion that “the people that need the most care need to be rescued first,” to a certain extent. Choosing who lives and who dies is never a situation one should be put between. No one should have the power to make this decision, however, if one is forced into this dilemma, how should we decide. How should our minds think during this complicated situation?
    The other day, I watched a movie called “The Belko Experiment,” where a group of co-workers are imprisoned in their building and are forced to kill 30 co-workers within the group of 80. If this command is not followed through, the people enforcing the commands kill 60 of the co-workers instead of the initial 30. Even though this movie is very graphic and horrific, I think it is very connectable to the same situation the doctors of Memorial Hospital were put up against. This situation is clearly the idea of who should live and who should die. After reading this journal and watching this movie, I realized that the parents of a young family and/or the youth should be treated before anyone else. As horrible as it sounds, I believe the people who have not experience their lives should be given a chance before the elder. This system ultimately gives the people who have not experienced as much of life as others, the position to do so. Our future is supported by the youth and if we cut them off because we need to aid the elder, our society will collapse.
    Ultimately, Ada’s opinion on who should live and who should die, allowed me to think through my opinions and express them by using a movie as support.

  3. قبل البدء باختيار نوع الأثاث وتصميمه وألوانه والدخول في هذه التفاصيل، يجب تحديد الاحتياجات الشخصية لكلّ مكان في المنزل، فعلى سبيل المثال اختيار أثاث لغرفة نوم لشخصين يختلف عن اختيار أثاث لغرفة نوم لشخص واحد، كما يعتمد اختيار الأثاث بشكل كبير على الأشخاص وطبيعة عملهم وحالتهم الاجتماعية، مثل حاجة الطالب الجامعي إلى مكتب دراسي في غرفة نومه، وحاجة بعض الموظفين إلى مكتب للعمل في المنزل خاصةً الأشخاص الذين يقومون بأعمال مكتبية، ويُمكن تَخيل قضاء يوم كامل في المكان الذي يُراد اختيار أثاث له وحصر الأثاث اللازم وتحديد القطع اللازمة بشكلٍ دقيق.
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