Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Weakest Were Left to Die

The body count may turn out to be lower than feared, but the stories are no less gruesome. Reuters reports that the owners of a nursing home where 34 elderly patients are said to have drowned have been charged with homicide:
The owners, Mable and Salvador Mangano, turned down an offer from local officials to take the patients out by bus, and did not bother to call in an ambulance service with which they had a contract, he said. They were each released on $50,000 bonds on Wednesday.
The bodies of 44 patients were found at the Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans:
In another development, the owners of a New Orleans hospital where 44 bodies were found said they were those of critically ill patients who died in stifling heat after power was cut to the flooded building but before it could be evacuated.
Tenet Healthcare Corp. said no one still alive was left behind at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans when help finally came.
"During more than four days with poor sanitation, without power, air-conditioning and running water, and with temperatures in the building approaching 110 degrees (43 C), some patients simply did not survive despite the heroic efforts of our physicians and nurses. We believe that most were very sick adult patients," the company said in a statement.

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