An occasional sputtering of literary output, rants and opinion.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Desperate Choices, Disparate Responsibilities

2 egrets in swamp w/ hill
2 egrets in swamp w/ hill,
originally uploaded by L. A. Price.
A Friend asked me to explain how this
is Bush's doing.

The euthanasia of patients who could not be evacuated is an act that will weigh heavily on the conscience of the doctors and care personnel involved. They know it is their responsibility, and I can only hope the strain does not break them.

But what is the president's responsibility in this situation?

from the article:
"""Their families believe their confessions are an indictment of the appalling failure of US authorities to help those in desperate need after Hurricane Katrina flooded the city, claiming thousands of lives and making 500,000 homeless."""

In a bad situation with no good alternatives people will end up facing desperate choices with no good solutions. Do I move someone and have them die in transit, leave them here to die of thirst or flooding and lack of care, or give them a dose of morphine strong enough that they won't spend their last hours alone and in agony.

What Bush is responsible for is the weakening of those agencies tasked with disaster relief, and the creation of an adversarial culture, where partisanship causes a breakdown in communication between federal and local authorities.

Absent that failure of leadership, would those doctors have had to face the desperate choices they did? Who knows. But if Leadership means anything, then yes, those deaths too are Bush's responsibility.


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