Five Days at Memorial was selected as this year’s One Book, One Community pick by the Allegheny County Library Association. One Book, One Community is an annual reading program that has the simple goal of getting people together to discuss great books. Discussions are happening across Pittsburgh and Allegheny County and will continue throughout the year.
The book Five Days at Memorial is an extension of author and Pulitzer Prize winner Sherri Fink’s 2009 New York Times Magazine article, “The Deadly Choices at Memorial”. Faced with dwindling supplies and no electricity, medical staff and volunteers at the Memorial Hospital Building in New Orleans, work around the clock to evacuate patients in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. After days of trying to attract helicopters and coordinate rescues with limited communication abilities and a mandatory evacuation order placed on the city, medical staff conclude that not everyone is going to be able to make it out alive.
Medical staff adopt a loosely discussed triage model for evacuation with the intention of “trying to do the most good for the greatest amount of people.” The questions raised in this book are, “Who should be saved and why?” and “How do we define the most good?” Also, “Should staff members be held liable for the deaths of patients in disaster scenarios?”
Members of the Health Committee for People with Disabilities and the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped are organizing a book discussion on May 6, 2015 from 2-4PM at the Downtown Carnegie Library. The Downtown Carnegie Library is located at 612 Smithfield St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. To participate in the book club with members of HCPD contact Amanda at email@example.com or call 1-800-242-0586.
Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm Ravaged Hospital
by Sheri Fink
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist reports on the aftermath of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans. Reconstructs the five days it took to rescue the hospital’s staff and patients and examines the life-and-death decisions made and the lawsuits that followed. 2013.