Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ch.7- Afterword

After seeing the Unions side of war healthcare it was interesting to see how similarly the Confederate healthcare system evolved. It was also shocking to learn of the ordeals the confederate states faced at the same time the Union was flourishing.  One of the things that stuck out to me was the affect that the trade embargo had on confederate healthcare.  Along with other basic goods, the primitive drugs mentioned in previous chapters (such as quinine and anesthetics) were in much shorter supply for the confederacy compared to the union.  This caused confederate physicians to have a hard time providing sufficient care to their patients resulting in less men on the battlefield.
An especially hard part to read in this section was Ch. 9's report of the prison camps.  Its horrifying to think of the wrongs each side committed in those prison camps.  The gruesome pictures published in the Narrative of Privations and Sufferings and the included claims of the much better treatment of confederate prisoners by the union are an interesting hint at propaganda, especially given the claims in some rebel prisoners memoirs that the USSC made no pictures of the confederate prisoners condition.
The book concludes with the image of a new and energized healthcare system beginning to be established in America.  The war gave experience and posed new questions to healthcare professionals, which led to innovations in future decades.

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