Hurricane Katrina and Medical Choice in Extreme Emergencies

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Just four years ago, Hurricane Katrina cut off electricity to New Orleans' Memorial Medical Center. Emergency generators failed. The temperature was 100°, there was no fresh water or sewage, and flooding around a heavily damaged building created major problems for evacuating patients. Doctors were forced to conduct triage. Their decisions are still being debated today, with potential consequences for the coming flu epidemic this fall.



  • Sheri Fink - correspondent for the New York Times; author of “Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital”
  • Peter Kovacs - Managing Editor, Times Picayune
  • Marianne Matzo - Chair of Palliative Care Department, University of Oklahoma College of Nursing
  • Uwe Reinhardt - Princeton University - @uwejreinhardt


Warren Olney