Saturday, February 18, 2012

He Was Killed Because He Was Fat?

   I was reading on shabbas about the “Mercy Killings” in New Orleans during the Katrina Hurricane. I noted that one of those killed was DEFINITELY not terminal, and did not have a DRN order. Instead, he repeatedly implored the staff to not leave him behind.
   But he was among those murdered. Because he was too heavy to move easily. I can only wonder how much the decision to kill him (for “mercy”) had to do with the prejudice which our society has against overweight people, and the view that those who are not independent have lives “not worth living”.

UPDATE: Please see comments


Anonymous said...

I didn't see the article, but was he murdered, or were they unable to save him?

rickismom said...

I stand corrected (by my Mom)- the article I read was not entirely correct, and apparently there is still doubt about whether patients in the hospital in New Orleans were intentionally killed.
Mr. Everest was very heavy, and there was doubt that he could be saved. But the article claims that rescue workers said later that had they known about his case, they would have tried to get him out of the hospital.
[It is, of course, always easy to say such afterwards.] I pray as a nurse to never be in such a situation as this staff found themselves.