View single post by HankC
 Posted: Tue May 22nd, 2007 05:06 pm
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Joined: Tue Sep 6th, 2005
Posts: 517

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Basecat wrote: Evening all.

Stuff like this cracks me up.  What's next??  An article on whether modern medicine would have eliminated the use of amputation during the Civil War?  Just my opinion, but anything could be written about  Abe today in this ilk and would become major "news". 

The author pretty much agrees with's a bit from the online duscussion:

Burke, Va.: Don't take this the wrong way, but what is the real purpose of going through 'what if' exercises like this? While a testament to the incredible medical advances that have taken place since then, esp. the last 30-40 years or so and an interesting exercise, it just seems to be a waste of time. Seems like the medical community did all they could with the knowledge and equipment they had at the time.

David Brown: The main purpose, I think, is that it is interesting. Secondary reasons are that it is entertaining and it is also a vehicle to tell people in the audience (and the newspaper) a little something about medical care and physiology. How many people knew before this that if you "decompress" the abdominal cavity of many trauma patients you lower their intracerebral pressure? (I sure didn't). The historical "what-if" speculation, I agree, is pretty pointless, but it, as well, is a vehicle for explaining what did happen and what the effect of a historical event was. The U of Md./VA presentation had a historian talk about presidential success and invalidity; unfortunately I couldn't get into that in the story.

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