Is War a Good Thing?
I hate war. I’m not a fan of violence of any sort. We’ve been fighting wars since the beginning of time and yet? Nothing ever really seems to be accomplished by war.
Sure, there are good things about war. Ending WWII meant Hitler couldn’t kill any more of the human beings that didn’t fit into his ethnocentric plan. The Civil War kept the Union from splitting up and led to Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation after the 13th Amendment. I guess one could even argue that since the Middle East wars started a dozen years ago, we’ve had no more terrorist attacks on American soil. That’s a good thing, I guess.
But, what about medical advancements? Should we show gratitude to war for those?
A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a few dialysis nurses. Since my late uncle was a dialysis patient from 1975 to 2000, I’m always excited to learn from those who work in any form of nephrology. They described how, after Korean soldiers were in the battlefield for long amounts of time, they would get severely dehydrated and this led to kidney failure. The notion of kidney dialysis and the need for it came to the forefront because of the Korean War.
We all know that in recent years, medical advancements mean we’re saving more lives than ever before…but saving those lives often comes at the cost of limbs. Prosthetics are becoming more integrated with technology every day. Prosthetics are becoming state of the art…scratch that. Most prosthetics ARE state of the art. Art and medicine blending together to create better lives for those who have suffered the loss of a limb. Three dimensional printers are now being utilized to insure prosthetics and ambulatory devices can be as customized as possible for the user. Much of this advancement has come from the war injuries coming out of the Middle East.
Do I love medical advancements? Of course! Who doesn’t? Do I also understand that those advancements have been perfected due to something as senseless as war? Sure. To deny that would be to deny the truth.
Look, I’m glad for where our advancements are today. I’m even more excited to see where these will go in just a few short years. But, let’s not forget that those advancements for vets often come at a larger cost.