Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital
It has been eight years since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans; since then, countless stories of individual tragedies, epic governmental failures and rippling aftereffects have been explored across all media. In Five Days at Memorial, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and physician Sheri Fink presents a meticulously researched examination of one of the most shocking stories to come out of Hurricane Katrina: the deaths of 45 patients at Memorial Medical Center in the days following the storm. An investigation into those deaths began almost immediately; one year after the storm, a physician, Anna Pou, and two nurses were arrested and accused of euthanizing several of those patients.
Throughout this horrifying, engrossing book, Fink's reporting is detailed, nuanced and far-reaching, yet never biased--a stunning accomplishment in a story with this kind of moral complexity. And while the material devoted to the sweltering, desperate days and nights inside Memorial are stunning, the latter part of the book, discussing the legal wrangling that followed, is equally compelling. She gives voice to all sides--the doctors, nurses, families and patients themselves--leaving the conclusions and judgments, none of which can or ever will be easily reached, to the reader. This is a book not to be missed. It is, quite simply, required reading. --Debra Ginsberg, author