Philo Term Paper

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Term Paper: Katrina Euthanasia

As a medical ethicist, you are asked to give a professional opinion on the morality of the actions of health-care workers at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The Facts of the Case

In the case of euthanasia, Memorial Medical Center Doctor Anna Pou and Nurses Lori Budo and Cheri Landry were accused of murdering patients during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Euthanasia is the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy. “Pou had been charged by Louisiana’s attorney general on 10 counts, including second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit second-degree murder.” (Lifesitenews) It was reported that medical professionals at Memorial medical Center had been conversing about euthanizing patients after the city became flooded, the resulted in the loss of electricity, high temperature, and limited resources.

The two nurses had admitted to administering lethal doses of medication to their patients and Pou has consistently made it clear that she had administered potentially lethal does of medication to some patients during the crises, however the intention was not to end the lives of patients, but to help relieve pain. “Attorney-General Charles Foti, who charged Pou and the two nurses, has consistently declared his belief that the doctor and two nurses illegally killed their patients. "This was not euthanasia," Foti was quoted as saying when the details of the case first emerged. "This was homicide."” (Lifesitenews)

Foti had declared that his charges are not without a base and are backed by over 10 months of investigation by him and his team.

In the events of the case, during rescue, doctors and nurses had decided to divide up their patients into three groups in order to speed up evacuation efforts. The groups were categorized as 1’s, 2’s, and 3’s. Those...