Mass critical training has become a well visited fact at this stage. The goal is to have all hospitals respond in the same way across the country. The expectation is that limited medical resources may need to be shared or reallocated to other patients with a higher likelihood of survival (Devereaux, Dichter, Christian, 2007). There are still many issues that need clarification but allocation and rationing is necessary especially in large disasters where critical care is needed and the legal, ethical and emotionally complexity is high.
The Memorial staff met all the legal and ethical requirements of this training through their ordeal during Katrina even though they had not had this training. Legally Legally, two physicians and two nurses were charged with murder and arrested. The Grand Jury listened to testimony from many people. They could have charged them with murder and sent them to prison for 214 years. (nytimes. com) however, they chose not to and deemed the situation one that could not have been handled humanely in any other way.
Since that trial Dr. Pou who was the primary physician throughout these incidents has written several laws in the State of Louisiana that deter the attempt to file murder charges on health care personel that must make triage decisions in a major disaster like the Katrina one. She also points out at every chance that the ethical and legal issues that have been ignored, those of the Federal Government, should be addressed. That, however, is for another paper. In conclusion, the Katrina disaster was one the largest disasters in modern times.
It led to many lost lives and many decisions made by people who did not want to make them. It also has led to much ethical and legal speculation with, at this point, not very good answers. There has been major change in disaster response regulations as well as triage rules within the disaster. There are also great changes in evacuation responses and disaster preparedness. Supposedly we have all learned many things in preparation for the next major disaster. It is hoped by this writer that we are right. Resources Asha, V. , Devereaux, MD, Dichter, MD. (2007).
Definitive care for the critically ill during a disaster: a framework for allocation of scarce resources in mass critical care. Task Force for Mass Critical Care Summit. Devereaux, A. , Dichter, J. , Christian, M. (2007). Definitive care for the critically ill during a disaster: a framework for allocation of scarce resources in mass critical care. Task Force for Mass Critical Care. Douglas B, White MD, Mas, M. (2009). Who should receive life support during a public public health emergency? Using ethical principles to improve allocation decision Academia and Clinic. 150. 889. Fink, S. (2009).
The deadly choices at Memorial. ProPublica. Available at http://www. propublica. org/feature/the=deadly-choices-at-memorial-826 Foster, M. (2007). No indictment in Katrina Hospital deaths. The Associated press. http://www. washingtonpost. com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/24/AR2007072400872. html Kahn, C. (2006). New Orleans hospital staff discussed mercy killings. Available at http://www. npr. org/templates/story/story. php? storyId=5219917. Miller, J. (2007). Emergency preparedness ethics: nursing home owners face trial in 35
Katrina deaths. available at http://www. bioethicsinternational. org/blog/2007/08/13/nursing-home-owners- face-trial-in-3 Okie, S. (2008). Dr. Pou and the hurricane–implications for patient care during disasters. Perspectives. 358 (1). Rice, K. , Colletti, L. , Hartman, S. 2006. Learning from Katrina. Nursing 2006. 36(4). http://scoop. epluribusmedia. org/story/2005/9/5/16226/8828 http://www. cnn. com/2005/US/10/12/katrina. hospital/ http://www. nytimes. com/2009/08/30/magazine/30doctors. html? _r=1&pagewanted=all