Read: “The Deadly Choices at Memorial” by Sheri Fink published in the New York
Times on August 25, 2009. The full text of the article can be found here:
Write: A 5-8 page paper critically evaluating the decisions made by the staff at
Memorial Hospital in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Your analysis of
the events documented in this piece should contain your own opinions regarding whether
or not you believe the actions of the staff were justifiable or ethically acceptable. The
paper MUST also be informed by some of the major ethical theories that we discuss in
class and can be found in your reading assignments. All opinions should be backed up by
strong, logical arguments. All outside resources must be cited using either MLA, APA,
or Chicago Manual of Style format.
To help prepare for this paper, consider asking yourself some or all of the following
questions after reading the piece:
Who, if anyone, is to blame for the actions that took place in the hospital?
Did the doctors have the right to administer deadly amounts of morphine to
patients who, according to the professionals, could not be rescued?
How would you evaluate the intentions of the doctors at Memorial? Did they
have the best interest of the patients in mind when making the decisions?
Should the doctors’ intentions matter when evaluating the ethics of these
How, in your opinion, would a consequentalist/utilitarian, deontologist, and virtue
ethicist evaluate the actions of the doctors?
Grading: Your papers will be evaluated using the following rubric:
Development of well-supported arguments: 30%
Use of outside sources: 30%
Technical Writing: 20%
For tips on how to write a philosophical paper, read this article:
Note; Use MLA reference.