Rituals for dealing with the dead have evolved because they do the job. After death there are various time periods when the life of the deceased is commemorated. After certain time periods have elapsed, the family can go forward. People dressed in black attend memorial services. They are happy. Smiling. Their grief is no longer so raw.
In the tradition of the best writing on medicine, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs five days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the listener into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and to maintain life amidst 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.