I predict that this will be one of the biggest books of the year. I couldn’t stop thinking and talking about it. Five Days at Memorial recounts the hour-to-hour movements and decisions of the doctors at Memorial Medical Center following Hurricane Katrina, including the horrifying decision to inject severely ill patients with life-ending drugs. If you devoured Zeitoun by Dave Eggers, you simply must read Five Days at Memorial. It is powerful, engrossing, and essential.— Kat
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Memorial Hospital became known as the hospital that euthanized patients during the flood. The truth, however, is infinitely more complicated than that, and in this brilliant, completely engrossing book, Sheri Fink tells the whole story from every angle she can. This book sucked me in, didn’t let go, and left me stunned. I cannot recommend it highly enough.— Flannery
In the tradition of the best investigative journalism, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs 5 days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the reader into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and maintain life amid chaos.
After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several of those caregivers faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths.
Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, unspools the mystery of what happened in those days, bringing the reader into a hospital fighting for its life and into a conversation about the most terrifying form of health care rationing.
In a voice at once involving and fair, masterful and intimate, Fink exposes the hidden dilemmas of end-of-life care and reveals just how ill-prepared we are for the impact of large-scale disasters--and how we can do better. A remarkable book, engrossing from start to finish, Five Days at Memorial radically transforms your understanding of human nature in crisis.