New Orleans doctor finally tells her side
The J Train here...while serious and important tasks* will likely prevent me from adding much to this open guest blogger call, I wanted to follow up on a post I wrote here almost two years ago.
At that point there were only rumors that some patients had died after being given large doses of morphine as a New Orleans hospital was being evacuated. It was almost a year later when Dr. Anna Pou and two nurses were arrested, charged with four counts of second degree murder. The charges against the nurses were dropped. The grand jury refused to indict Dr. Pou, but not before Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti made a colossal grandstanding ass of himself over it. (He earned the #4 spot on the Ten Worst Prosecutors 2007 list, and there was some damn tough competition for that honor this year.)
Now Newsweek has an interview with Dr. Pou, and from the sound of it the situation was even worse than I imagined. It never occurred to me that people would want to use the hospital as a shelter; the hospital couldn't really say no, but it must have made things difficult. The battlefield-style triage I described in my earlier post was being done quite literally, with numbers taped to patient's chests. For some reason the part I have the hardest time envisioning is the pitch-black darkness.
I should read more about Foti's pursuit of the case, because I just don't understand what he hoped to gain. I guess he was trying to pander to the God Squad, but did he really think there was a net gain in vilifying a respected surgeon who stayed behind to care for and evacuate a hospital full of patients? It's like trying to indict one of the firefighters who went back into the burning towers on 9/11. Even if what she did was 100% wrong (and, I stress, it wasn't), she did it after two straight nonstop days of a job no one should have to do in conditions no one should have to endure. I'd love to believe that even the people still wearing their Save Terri T-shirts understand that.
I suppose Dr. Fou was supposed to "trust the Lord" and wait for a miracle. I have to tell you--if I'm ever in a pitch dark 100-degree hospital with five feet of water on the first floor, 2000 patients and refugees cramming the hallways, and my city falling apart around me, I'm going to go ahead and assume that God is not on my side.
(Check me out over at The J Train. It's been pretty haphazard lately, but it has its moments.)
* Metroid Prime 3