He Said...Or Did He?
There is an old saying "You cannot put the toothpaste back in the tube". Once something has been presented as "fact", a denial can be seen as fabrication, particularly if presented as having happened years later. In Five Days at Memorial, Ms. Fink relates numerous conversations as if they had taken place, and only after presenting what was said as fact, relates that "years later" at least one party to the conversation denies it happened. Does that mean Ms. Fink is lying? Perhaps she is hearing what she wants to hear. Different people perceive things in different ways. Ms. Fink's information was gathered years later, her sources were poorly vetted and her agenda is clear. Some of the people she interviewed are now deceased. Perhaps Ms. Fink said it best when she said on page 282.
"Researchers have shown that recollections of alleged crimes, as of all events, were fallible, malleable, and subject to possible contamination by new information and discussions with other witnesses." [or perhaps by authors trying to write a sensational book].
Examples of the "Years Later" technique:
Page 6: That afternoon [Wednesday], Theile [who Ms. Fink cites as the source of this statement, and who is now deceased] sat on the emergency room ramp for a cigar break with an internist, Dr. John Kokemor, who told him doctors were being requested to leave last. When Theile asked why, his friend brought an index finger to the crook of his opposite elbow and pantomimed giving an injection. Theile caught his drift.
"Man I hope we don't come to that," Theile said. While Ms. Fink states next, "Kokemor would later say he never made the gesture",
Ms. Fink relegates Dr. Kokemor's emphatic denial that such a conversation took place to a footnote buried 490 pages later.
Page 161: Cook sat on the emergency room ramp smoking cigars with another doctor, John Kokemor....Despite how miserable the patients looked, Cook would later say he felt there was no way, in the crowded room, to do what he and Kokemor had discussed over cigars [and Ms. Fink never relates this conversation either]."We didn't do it because we had too many witnesses. That's the honest-to-God truth."
Only after presenting Cook's alleged statement as fact, does Ms. Fink does note "A different memory of their interactions would be held by Kokemor, who would say he never talked about euthanasia."
Page 284: Fink presents as fact that attorney for Lori Budo, Eddie Castaing, admitted that "injections were made for the purpose of mercy killing" and that "injecting the patients was intended to kill them." Though she mentions paragraphs later that Castaign, years later, denied giving an account of what happened on the 7th floor, what she fails to make clear is that her "evidence" is an inter-office memorandum containing the impressions of tAttorney General Staff, not a recorded statement of Castaign and that Mr. Castaign, a respected attorney, has consistently and adamantly denied ever saying such a thing. See Statement of Castaign.
317-318 [speaking of Dr. Skinner]: Chatelain [a LifeCare nurse who is now deceased] said a doctor she thought was Skinner said "that the situation was grave, that there were no more resources to get these patients out. "These little people", she remembered him saying "were not going to make it" and were "Do Not Resuscitate". Chatelain had corrected him--at least one of them wasn't DNR, just extremely obese. The doctor said the helicopters couldn't carry patients of his weight...he said that what was going to have to happen was the law of nature would take over. Only the strong could survive this. Um, he told me that, um, you know that Mother Nature's course would have to be hastened."....Years later in an interview, Skinner would say the nurse was not referring to him. He did not recall having spoken with a LifeCare nurse on the seventh floor or having conveyed a message of that sort. He felt he would not have referred to patients as "little people" or said that Mother Nature's course would have to be hastened.
Example of Imaginary Conversation With Dr. Pou:
Years later Ms. Fink also has the audacity to attribute to Dr. Pou an unattributed quote of an unnamed doctor at an unnamed hospital, interviewed by a journalist from a British Tabloid; The Daily Mail (September 2005) who allegedly admitted to injecting morphine into dying patients.