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On 'Sound Medicine': What happened during the 'Five Days at Memorial'


INDIANAPOLIS — In its Dec. 1 program, “Sound Medicine” examines the circumstances of the 45 deaths that occurred during the five days that Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans was without power and outside contact, following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

Sheri Fink, M.D., Ph.D., is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Five Days at Memorial,” in which she describes what took place at Memorial Medical Center following the flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina. Dr. Fink joins “Sound Medicine” to discuss some of the most controversial events, including the unusual evacuation orders and the accusation that a doctor and two nurses euthanized at least 20 critically ill patients. Dr. Fink is an award-winning health and life sciences journalist, author and reporter. She is also a former disaster relief worker.

Eric Meslin, Ph.D., joins Dr. Fink and host Barbara Lewis in the studio to discuss the ethical concerns brought up in “Five Days at Memorial.” Dr. Meslin discusses the unusual triage measures used by the medical staff at Memorial Medical Center, the decision to place those patients with do-not-resuscitate orders last on the evacuation list, and the ethical dilemmas physicians face when working in natural disasters. Dr. Meslin is the director of the Center for Bioethics at Indiana University.

“Sound Medicine” covers controversial ethics topics, breakthrough research studies and the day-to-day application of recent advancements in medicine. It’s also available via podcast and Stitcher Radio for mobile phones and iPads and posts updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Co-produced by the IU School of Medicine and WFYI Public Radio (90.1 FM) and underwritten in part by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, “Sound Medicine ” airs on the following Indiana public radio stations: WBSB (Anderson, 89.5 FM), WFIU (Bloomington, 103.7 FM; Columbus, 100.7 FM; Kokomo, 106.1 FM; Terre Haute, 95.1 FM), WNDY (Crawfordsville, 91.3 FM), WVPE (Elkhart/South Bend, 88.1 FM), WNIN (Evansville, 88.3 FM), WBOI (Fort Wayne, 89.1 FM), WFCI (Franklin, 89.5 FM), WBSH (Hagerstown/New Castle, 91.1 FM), WFYI (Indianapolis), WBSW (Marion, 90.9 FM), WBST (Muncie, 92.1 FM), WBSJ (Portland, 91.7 FM), WLPR (Lake County, 89.1 FM) and WBAA (West Lafayette, 101.3 FM).

“Sound Medicine” is also broadcast on these public radio stations across the country: KSKA (Anchorage, Alaska), KTNA (Talkeetna, Alaska), KUHB (Pribilof Islands, Alaska), KUAF (Fayetteville and Fort Smith, Ark.), KIDE (Hoopa Valley, Calif.), KRCC (Colorado Springs, Colo.), KEDM (Monroe, La.), WCMU (Mount Pleasant, Mich.), WCNY and WRVO-1 (Syracuse, N.Y.), KMHA (Four Bears, N.D.), WYSU (Youngstown, Ohio), KPOV (Bend, Ore.) and KEOS (College Station, Texas).

Please check local listings for broadcast dates and times.