Distributive Justice

Who lives and who dies?

Following hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana there were two hospitals – Charity and Memorial Medical Center – that was cut off from the outside world for 5 days. The water was rising, the electricity was about to be cut off, and the hospital was full. Watch the following stories:

CNN: Walking among Charity Hospital’s ghosts (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

The Hard Line | Sheri Fink on the ethical questions associated with medical care in catastrophes (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

If you were a doctor in this situation, what would you do? How would you determine who gets the medicine if there isn’t enough to go around? How would you determine who gets evacuated first? Who gets saved if you can’t save them all? Is distributive justice fair?