Five Days at Memorial is a nonfiction book written by Sheri Fink. This was my April book from my book club. I had read the description of the book and from the listing of the nonfiction books I thought this would be interesting to read. It is not primarily about the Hurricane Katrina but the aftermath and what happened in Memorial Hospital for those five days.
So first off nonfiction books that I read are very few. I have to have a topic I would really enjoy to keep my attention especially as they are sometimes written like text books. Now Sheri Fink’s writing I thought was well done and you could clearly tell that she knew her topic. She wrote a compelling tale of what happened in those five days at Memorial Hospital or at least pieced together what happened after doing extensive research and interviews.
As the book was discussed there were no breaking moments as there was a lot to talk about. I think as we talked and as I had read the book I was shocked by all that had happened. There are many points in the book when you are shouting at these doctors and nurses, shouting at them to stop. Towards the end euthanizing patients was discussed and followed through with some patients. At that point you are horrified. I thought how could they do that especially with some of the patients who would have made it out.
The biggest question that my book club asked was, “was this right? What would you have done?” Now that would be impossible to answer because you are not in that situation. I would like to say I would never do that because it is inhumane, but as through the description of Sheri Fink’s writing I can see from the doctors/nurses point of view as they thought to help the patients. But not all of them were trying to help at least that is how I viewed it.
Within this book there are many doctors, nurses and patients that are mentioned which got a little confusing. Dr. Poe was one of the man ones as she was the one accused of this horrible crime and I would have to say there was merit for that but there were others involved. I was kind of shocked that the one nurse who brought up the idea to Dr. Poe was not brought to trial which I thought was unfair. There is so much that goes on in this book that leaves you to wonder why wasn’t there protocol that was set up for these kind of disasters especially in a state that has that kind of weather. If there was protocol and communication things might have been a little easier, no guarantee but anything would have been better than what happened.