Thursday, October 13, 2005

First Do No Harm

The physician's oath says that above all else the physician will 'first do no harm'. But how do you decide what is harm and which is more harm. Is ending the life of a patient ever the least 'harmful' thing a doctor can do? Can it ever be compassionate to allow someone to suffer in pain if only to protect your own moral and legal standing?
I can see a genuine moral delimma here...
Staff at New Orleans hospital debated euthanizing patients

It's easy to say, "I'd never...", but unless your there, and can see, feel, and share in the suffering, it's hard to really know what you'd do. Especially if these patients were in terrible pain.
I know I would not want to have to stand in judgment of these people. I can only imagine the heartache they must have gone through. I know if a member of my family had been a patient, I could never hate or judge the doctor or nurse who made the decision to end my loved ones suffering.

Someone needs to be held responsible for doctors and nurses, who've dedicated their lives to helping and healing, being forced to make such heart rendering choices. Hospitals should have been at the TOP of any evauation list. Why weren't they?
I know who's name is at the top of my list, and NO it's not the President. His name is on the list. Not because of his actions during or after the hurricane. His mistake occurred long before Katrina struck. His mistake was in appointing people to postitions that they had no business being in.
Still, had the man, in who's hands the people of New Orleans placed their faith and fate in, done his job, both before and after the hurricane, this tragedy could have been averted. Ray Nagin needs to be held accountable. There is simply no way this man should be allowed to remain in office to over see the rebuilding of this city when he is particially responsible for her destruction.


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