Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Sheri Fink spoke at Washington & Jefferson College on Oct. 21, 2019, giving a talk, “Five Days At Memorial: Triage, Medical Ethics, and the Law in Disasters,” that focused on the topic of her New York Times bestselling book, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital (Crown, 2013). The book is about choices made in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as medical personnel worked to care for patients with failing and limited resources. Her reporting on the issue raised questions and started national conversations about what constitutes an ethical response during disaster scenarios.
“She really connected the events to the ethical issues, like who should be evacuated first in a disaster, how doctors and nurses can care for terribly ill patients without electricity and air conditioning, and what kind of choices people make when they are exhausted and desperate. I knew right away that I wanted to bring her to W&J because of our strong pre-health and pre-law programs and her focus on ethical issues, which is something we encourage our students to think about. I thought it would be a great lecture for our students and the community,” said W&J Professor of English Jennifer Harding, Ph.D.