Earthquake ethics

Here’s an ethical dilemma.

Critically injured Haitians have been ferried to the U.S. for care in the wake of the earthquake there. But, the New York Times reports, the airlifts have been halted by the United States, after the governor of Florida asked the U.S. to shoulder some of the burden of caring for the injured.

The suspension could be catastrophic for patients, said Dr. Barth A. Green, the co-founder of Project Medishare for Haiti, a nonprofit group affiliated with the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine that had been evacuating about two dozen patients a day.

“People are dying in Haiti because they can’t get out,” Dr. Green said.

It was not clear on Friday who exactly was responsible for the interruption of flights, or the chain of events that led to the decision. Sterling Ivey, a spokesman for Mr. Crist, said the governor’s request for federal help might have caused “confusion.”

The U.S. military says it suspended the flights after American hospitals were unwilling to take any more of the injured. But some Florida hospitals today said that assertion is not true.

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