1. It’s discussed earlier in the book that Memorial’s storm plan was not nearly as comprehensive as it should have been. I believe that played a part in some of the deaths in this book. Sometimes the best way to deal with a crisis is to prevent it; like learning CPR and hoping you never need to save a stranger’s life with it.
2. John Thiele, to me, seems to be a very anxious man. This is further evidenced by his mysterious stroke which may have been brought on by stress. While he struggled with the thought of putting patients down, he also wanted to end their suffering. He had tried to give the patient morphine twice with no success already, but to him it was the right thing. He was able to convince himself it was the right thing to do.
3. End of life care comes up a lot in this novel. While triaging the patients at memorial, the DNR patients seemed to be put last on the priority list regardless of condition. And besides whatever they wanted, they weren’t able to speak for themselves and were given lethal amounts of sedatives against their wishes.