Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital

Kobo ebook | September 10, 2013

bySheri Fink

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One of the New York Times’s Best Ten Books of the Year

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction

Winner of the 2014 J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Ridenhour Book Prize, the 2014 American Medical Writers Association Medical Book Award (Public/Healthcare Consumers), a 2014 Science in Society Journalism Award, and the SIBA 2014 Book Award for Nonfiction

An ALA Notable Book, finalist for the NYPL 2014 Helen Bernstein Award, shortlisted for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Award and the ALA Andrew Carnegie Medal

An NPR “Great Reads” Book, a Chicago Tribune Best Book, a Seattle Times Best Book, a Time Magazine Best Book, Entertainment Weekly’s #1 Nonfiction Book, a Christian Science Monitor Best Book, and a Kansas City Star Best Book

Pulitzer Prize winner Sheri Fink’s landmark investigation of patient deaths at a New Orleans hospital ravaged by Hurricane Katrina – and her suspenseful portrayal of the quest for truth and justice.

In the tradition of the best investigative journalism, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs 5 days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the reader into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and to maintain life amid chaos.

After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths.

Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, unspools the mystery of what happened in those days, bringing the reader into a hospital fighting for its life and into a conversation about the most terrifying form of health care rationing.

In a voice at once involving and fair, masterful and intimate, Fink exposes the hidden dilemmas of end-of-life care and reveals just how ill-prepared we are in America for the impact of large-scale disasters—and how we can do better. A remarkable book, engrossing from start to finish, Five Days at Memorial radically transforms your understanding of human nature in crisis.

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From the Publisher

One of the New York Times’s Best Ten Books of the YearWinner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for NonfictionWinner of the 2014 J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Ridenhour Book Prize, the 2014 American Medical Writers Association Medical Book Award (Public/H...

Format:Kobo ebookPublished:September 10, 2013Publisher:Crown/ArchetypeLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307718980

ISBN - 13:9780307718983


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Five Days at Memorial Memorial Hospital spent five days in the wake of Hurricane Katrina without power, flooded and without preparation in place for a large-scale disaster. When rescue finally arrived, 39 of it's end-of-life patients lay dead. Was it palliative care and comfort? Was it euthanasia? A fascinating book about human nature in crisis. I highly recommend it.
Date published: 2015-06-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from 5 Days at Memorial Fascinating! A subject of which I knew nothing. And an issue I've never even considered. Great job, Sheri Fink
Date published: 2014-09-12
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Overly Complicated Overall, an interesting read which, unfortunately, becomes sidetracked by spending too much space on details which are as dry as a mathematics textbook.
Date published: 2014-07-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from AND THIS REALLY HAPPENED:( It started a bit boring for me with the info on the doctors/nurses/etc. When it got into the catastrophe itself, I had to keep reminding myself this was REAL, and not fiction. Unbelievable really the unpreparedness - the hospital had prepared for all types of disasters, but not a catastrophic flood, funny being as how New Orleans is below sea level. I did buy this book because of the 'Boston Legal' episode, but of course the book tells the whole story, the fiasco from beginning to end, people blaming each other, organizations blaming other organizations, the miscommunication between everyone, OMG. A long read but worth it if you want to know more about this terrible time at Memorial and the absolute power of mother nature, and the helplessness of man.
Date published: 2014-03-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing One of the best books that I've read lately
Date published: 2014-03-03
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Way Too Much Information I bought this book on the recommendation from the clerk at the book store. Well I tried so many times to give this book a go and I kept putting it aside. I found the book contained too much detail and I am sure a lot of readers would like that but this book was not for me - I did not finish reading the book might pick it up again when I am waiting for another book to arrive.
Date published: 2014-02-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A good, but drawn out read I'm just finishing the last hundred pages, and have really enjoyed this book. The level of detail and research the author has put into the book is remarkable. Fink provides an account of the circumstances leading up the the hurricane, many perspectives of the days at memorial, the aftermath, and even a current look at more recent disasters and changes to legislation. Five Days provides many details about the health professionals, patients, families, rescuers, and legal professionals who had a role (or were refused a role) in the events at Memorial, allowing the reader to understand the people behind the decisions that were made. I found myself engaged, but only able to read so much at once. I found the book repeating itself at times, and that many details in this nearly 1 200 page novel could have been written more succinctly to make reading the book more enjoyable to the reader.
Date published: 2014-01-11