Most of you know that we had a bit of a hurricane here last August. (Those of you that don’t should now crawl out from under your rocks and stare, blinking, at the sunlight.) And you are also probably aware that things were mismanaged at every level. In an effort to not put blame on any one person or organization, I tend to take the position that, really, NO ONE could have known exactly what to do when Mother Nature dealt us the worst of blows. It was too much, too quickly, and all of it was compounded by one of the worst traits of human nature: stubbornness. It was a natural disaster, the magnitude of which no one could possibly have been completely prepared for.
And in its aftermath, more problems have arisen. We as a state and as a nation have gone to work to fix some of these problems. We as a people have, hopefully, learned valuable lessons in that (1) you can never be too prepared and (2) well, ‘evacuate’ means just that.

But some of the problems we have are too big. They are too big for any of us to handle. One of those problems is the indictment of several doctors and nurses who are accused of administering injections to patients too old or too sick or too big to move. And those injections were lethal.

One side says that it was merciful. That those hospital employees could have selfishly left their charges behind, choosing only to save themselves, but instead chose to end the lives of those patients in a much more dignified manner, with much less suffering than they may have endured otherwise.

Another side says that it was murder. That the hospital employees played God. And that those patients did not choose to end their lives at that time; indeed, they had no idea what was happening. Their families were not present.

News reports indicate that there was ten feet of floodwater in the hospital and that the temperatures in the hospital reached in excess of 100 degrees. At least 34 people died.

So what do you think? Did those physicians play God by taking matters into their own hands? Or were they angels of mercy, making those patients’ certain deaths a little less traumatic?

The attorney general in Louisiana has brought charges against one doctor and several nurses. He is turning the matter over to authorities in the jurisdiction where this occurred for prosecution.

Doctors here are speaking out in support of those indicted. The public doesn’t know what to think. The patients’ families have begun preparing lawsuits against the hospital.

So this begs the question: what do you think? Heroic gesture or homicide?

Now. Would your opinion be different if one of those patients was one of your loved ones?