War Hospital : A True Story of Surgery and Survival
In April 1992, a handful of young doctors, not one of them a surgeon, was trapped along with 50,000 men, women, and children in the embattled enclave of Srebrenica, Bosnia-Herzogovina. There, in a town whose tragedy still reverberates, the physicians faced the most intense professional, ethical, and personal predicaments of their lives.War Hospital is their story. It takes us on a rare journey into their operating theater and deep within their lives and minds. We experience their camaraderie, rivalries, romances, and jealousies, all amplified by the stressful environment of war. We witness their agonizing moral quandaries. With limited resources and a makeshift hospital overflowing with patients, how can they decide who to save and who to let die? Will their duty to treat patients come into conflict with their own efforts to survive?There are those who want to help them: Eric, an idealistic internist from Doctors Without Borders, believes that interposition of international aid workers will help prevent a massacre; Nedret, an aspiring Bosnian surgeon, walks through minefields to reach the civilian wounded; and Boro, a Bosnian Serb army doctor, crosses the front line to assist his Muslim former colleagues.Author Sheri Fink, who has worked in conflict and disaster zones around the world, spent five years researching and interviewing the doctors, nurses, and humanitarians who worked in Srebrenica. The result is not only a gripping story of surgery and survival, but also a complex and thought-provoking reflection on the nature of medicine in wartime. Fink challenges the myth that war is uniquely positive for medicine, an ideal proving ground for surgeons and a cultural medium for great medical advances. She asks the toughest questions: Are the ethics of medicine in wartime identical to the ethics of medicine in peacetime? Are there times when humanitarian aid paradoxically prolongs human suffering rather than helping to relieve it? What could make a doctor put down a scalpel to pick up a gun?
- Hardback | 448 pages
- 163.1 x 245.9 x 35.6mm | 789.26g
- 13 Aug 2003
- United States
- Illustrations, unspecified