Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Debating abstract ethical dilemmas is one thing, but real-life medical decisions often have no easy answer, and can lead to devastating consequences.

You may recall the case of several health care providers accused of administering lethal doses of medication to patients in a flood-ravaged hospital in New Orleans during the chaotic period after Hurricane Katrina.  Last week, the New York Times Magazine published a detailed account of those terrible days, and the decisions made by physicians and nurses facing impossible choices.

Discussing the article in the ED this weekend led to some heated debate on about the nature of triage, euthanasia, and who should make decisions in disaster situations.  It's definitely worth a read.

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