Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Today's newspaper tells me that Dr. Anna Pou and two nurses have been arrested, accused of murdering four "trapped and desperately ill" patients with morphine injections as the flood waters rose in New Orleans.
I don't know the right of this. Did they perform four mercy killings? Was there any chance at all that anyone could have rescued those patients or were they fated to starve or drown had they not been injected? If it was done, was it done so that the hospital staff could take the patients who could be rescued and flee for their lives?
To me, the amazing thing is that Dr. Pou may have had the power to inject or not inject, but that seems to be the only power she had. She couldn't have prevented the flooding of New Orleans by repairing the levees that were known to need repair, only the Federal Government could have done that. She couldn't have evacuated the population while that beautiful city was drowning, only the Federal Government could have done that. She couldn't have ignored her responsibility to do something, only the Federal Government could have done that. And, she certainly didn't play the guitar while the water rose and still uncounted people were trapped in dreadful situations, to drown or starve or die some other way. No, she had only a few small, dreadful choices. She could leave desperately ill patients to starve or drown. She could stay with them to die herself. She could inject them with morphine.
Was what happened at Memorial Medical Center a crime? Was there any choice? Could there have been a happy outcome? I don't know. I wasn't there.
And I'll tell you who else wasn't there. Louisiana Attorney General Charles C. Foti wasn't there. FEMA wasn't there. The Army Corps of Engineers wasn't there. President George W. Bush wasn't there.