Thursday, August 9, 2007
Elmira and Abu Grahib: The Sins of Our Fathers?
Just saw a citation on PubMed about a new journal article that promises to be most interesting; a link to the abstract can be found here:
Waggoner J., "The Role of the Physician: Eugene Sanger and a Standard of Care at the Elmira Prison Camp," J Hist Med Allied Sci. 2007 Aug 5.
The Civil War POW Camp at Elmira, NY, has been the subject of several recent studies, including Michael P. Gray's The Business of Captivity in the Chemung Valley: Elmira and Its Civil War Prison (Kent State University Press, 2001) and Michael Horigan's Elmira: Death Camp of the North (new edition, Stackpole, 2006).
Jesse Waggoner, a recent Duke University School of Medicine graduate, won the Osler Medal from the American Association for the History of Medicine for the paper, and according to the abstract he goes much farther than just a biographical sketch of Sanger, the prison's chief surgeon:
"This article places his actions at Elmira in the context of medical ethics, Army orders, and Northern opinion in 1864, and it will argue that the lack of Federal response to Eugene Sanger's poor record while serving at the prison set a precedent for inferior medical care of POWs by American military physicians."
I'm looking forward to receiving the article soon and will provide an update as soon as I've had a chance to read it in full.