Fresh off his critically-acclaimed true story drama Captain Phillips, producer Scott Rudin has optioned the non-fiction book Five Days at Memorial, set in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Here's the official description for the book by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and doctor Sheri Fink, which was published last month.
"In the tradition of the best investigative journalism, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs five days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the reader into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and to maintain life amid chaos.
After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths.
Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, unspools the mystery of what happened in those days, bringing the reader into a hospital fighting for its life and into a conversation about the most terrifying form of health care rationing.
In a voice at once involving and fair, masterful and intimate, Fink exposes the hidden dilemmas of end-of-life care and reveals just how ill-prepared we are in America for the impact of large-scale disasters- and how we can do better."
Faced with power outages and no support from the hospital owners, the New Orleans doctors were faced with excruciating decisions about who to save, four days after Hurricane Katrina struck. Those who weren't expected to survive were pumped up with morphine and left to die. The book focuses on the attempts to prosecute a doctor and two nurses for injecting dangerous levels of morphine into 23 patients who died. 20 of those deaths were ruled as homicides.