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Draft for All Health Care Professionals

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by beastmaster, Mar 16, 2004.

  1. beastmaster

    beastmaster Senior Member
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    from http://www.nisbco.org/HCPDSWWW.htm

    Are Health Care Professionals Subject to the Draft?

    Questions and Answers About The Health Care Personnel Delivery System



    In response to Department of Defense concerns about potential shortfalls of health care personnel, legislation was introduced in 1987 to register medical specialists. That legislation was soon replaced with instructions for Selective Service to design a Health Care Personnel Delivery System, PL 100-180, which amended the Military Selective Service Act in December 1987.

    The Health Care Personnel Delivery System (HCPDS) would be an annex to the regular conscription system under the Military Selective Service Act. It is a very different proposal from the Doctors' Draft, which expired in 1973.

    Selective Service first published the first HCPDS concept paper in August 1989. That proposal has now been reissued in greater detail and with a few changes reflecting the critique Selective Service received in 1989. The concept paper is not yet law, though changes in the proposal are not likely without strong leadership from the medical community.

    There is no draft operating now. Although the statute and regulations for a draft are in place, the President's induction authority expired in July 1973. The only part of a draft which is currently operating is draft registration, which is required of young men between the ages of 18-25.

    At this time, Selective Service has no statutory authority to draft medical personnel. That authorization would be provided by legislation to be introduced and passed in Congress at the time of a national defense mobilization. That "M-Day" legislative package has not been made available for public comment or Congressional debate.





    Can Selective Service start registering and drafting at any time?

    No. The proposal is not yet law. It would require authorizing legislation, as well as implementing regulations. Selective Service says it will be kept "on the shelf" to be implemented when needed.

    Are all medical personnel vulnerable?

    Yes. The Health Care Professionals Delivery System would register and conscript sixty-two categories of medical specialists. They range from orthopedic surgeons to animal care technicians?doctors, nurses, medical specialists of all types.

    Can I be drafted if I am fifty years old?

    Yes. In this concept, Selective Service projects taking people through age 55.

    Are students in the health care professions subject to the draft?

    When students complete their qualification for their specialty, they will be required to register and will be subject to this medical specialists draft. In the meantime, if they are subject to the regular draft they could be inducted or deferred under the regulations already in place.

    Are women included?

    Yes. Selective Service proposes that women be included, since the service they provide is non-combatant. The current exclusion of women from the draft would be amended in the statute.

    How likely is it that this proposal will ever be implemented?

    It depends on how long and how big a war is, and how many casualties are predicted or eventuate. CCW believes that medical specialists will be called well before they ever get around to a general draft. During the Gulf War, health care specialists in the reserves were mobilized first, along with the logistics personnel who got them in place.

    If I am registered for the draft already, will I need to register again as a medical specialist?

    Yes. The separate register of Health Care Professionals will supersede the other registration. You will be required to provide information about the highest skill level in the health care professions that you have attained. You will still be subject to the regular draft, though you will almost certainly be beyond the age for call-up in the prime selection group of men who turn twenty in the calendar year.

    Will there be deferments and exemptions?

    As in the regular draft, there will be deferments, but the physical standards for acceptance will be lower.

    Who decides who goes?

    Selective Service System local draft boards and administrative offices staffed by reservists will decide all claims for postponements, deferments, and exemptions. Physicians? claims that they are "essential" to their community will be evaluated by advisory boards.

    Will there be provisions for conscientious objectors?

    The same criteria for conscientious objectors would apply as in the regular draft.

    Do conscientious objectors have to be wary of particular problems for health care professionals?

    Potential applicants need to be alerted to the fact that during the Gulf War it was especially difficult to gain approval for CO claims by military doctors.

    Will alternative service be required of conscientious objectors?

    Yes, but the alternative service program for medical personnel is not defined yet. Selective Service says it needs to monitor it more closely than the regular alternative service program, but does not explain what this close monitoring would entail. Selective Service intends to reassign health care COs to fields in which there is a short supply of health care givers. Health care specialists should be aware that they will probably have a right to present their own proposal for the work they would do in alternative service.

    What other problems are there with the proposed system?

    There are many:

    It is unfair that male health care personnel will be subject to liability under both conscription systems.
    The proposal does not explain how adequate public notice of the requirements of the system will be given.
    The proposal is too vague regarding which occupational deferments will be allowed. Without detail, a proper assessment cannot be made.
    Similarly, not enough is said about how SSS will register the various specialties and then respond to DoD calls by particular specialty. The differential rates for differing specialties, combined with random sequence selection, and youngest first requirements implicit in the regular draft, do not seem to be resolved.
    Selective Service says it cannot meet the worst-case scenario proposed by DoD. CCW has some sympathy with this view, since it is predicated on all-out nuclear war.
    The system is a "mobilization style" draft, which CCW believes to have no statutory authority. Since Congress has explicitly rejected such a system, legal challenges on this basis can be expected.
    CCW does not see the need for lower physical standards for health care personnel, as if their service would be any less vigorous and less demanding than that which other draftees would have to undergo.
    SSS claims to have coordinated the proposal with other government agencies, though this cannot have been done with the officials in the present administration.
    Is my professional association fully aware of this proposal?

    SSS is misleading in claiming to have consulted with the affected professions. As in 1989, CCW does not believe that this has been done sufficiently nor with sufficient publicity to allow proper consultation.

    Write to your association and ask for its analysis and position on the HCPDS.

    What next steps should be considered?

    The proposal should not be kept on the shelf, to be included with the special legislation authorizing U.S. participation in hostilities. Instead, this proposal should be discussed by the public and by the affected professions, and hearings should be held in Congress to determine whether or not such a conscription system is necessary.
     
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  3. beastmaster

    beastmaster Senior Member
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    Any thoughts?
     
  4. juddson

    juddson 3K Member
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    yes,

    As a future healthcare professional, I am in favor of a special conscription for health care providers in the event of armed conflict. If needed, I am ready and willing.

    I do not oppose the lower physical standards required of medical provider conscription because, as suggested in the paper, medical care providers are "non-combatant" roles, and therefore will not (generally) entail the carrying of a rifle, the need to move great distances on foot, or take strategic positions and manouvers as a normal conscript is expected to do. A 200 pound surgeon is just as valuable on the battlefield as a 150 pound surgeon is. The same cannot be said of a regular conscript.

    Judd
     
  5. Ryo-Ohki

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    Yes, MASH was a good TV show.
     
  6. Mistress S

    Mistress S Don't mess with the S
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    Wow...scary. I oppose this 100%, I have no interest in being involved in any war, much less against my will because I made the caring decision to enter a profession where I could help people and communities, not contribute to some government's generally greed-motivated international conflicts. Of course, I oppose drafts in general: if a war lacks sufficient public support to supply troops willing to voluntarily fight for the cause, our government has no business fighting it. I'm probably going to get flamed for this with a bunch of patriotic crap (you wouldn't have the freedom to write this if it weren't for brave american soldiers, etc) and I don't care. I appreciate the sacrifices our soldiers have made, but I abhor the system that forces them to (often unnecessarily) make those sacrifices. If this ever goes into effect, I'm moving to Canada. ;)
     
  7. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    It's a great idea! As medics, we could shoot some enemy soldiers and nurse them back to health just so we can shoot them some more. Makes perfect sense to me.
     
  8. juddson

    juddson 3K Member
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    The draft was necessary during WWII even though it was immensely popular - and I gather, even you would agree it was for a legitimate purpose.

    Perhaps you need to be a bit more circumspect.

    Judd
     
  9. Robz

    Robz La Vie Boheme
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    At first I thought this was about beer....I was all for a draft. :)

    Seriously though, this is the first time I have ever heard of something like this. I doubt it would actually come to happen but its interesting to see how it fares in the courts and policy makers. Drafts are not looked on very well by the american people.
     
  10. JohnHolmes

    JohnHolmes Large Member
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    :thumbup: Excellent post. :thumbup: I have heard of a selection for health professionals.

    I think this needs to be discussed, and we should have a law on the books before the event where war breaks out and there is not an effective process in place. It is also nice to hear that all health care professionals will bear the responsibility and honor of serving this country, and this burden will not simply be carried by male physicians and allied health professionals.

    Obviously, this should be used in times of dire emergency and not simply to meet peace-time health care needs of the military because the federal government decides they would rather conscript citizens against their will than offer enough incentives to maintain and adequate health-core. Having a volunteer army is a priority.

    That being said there are serious problems that plague this system, many have been pointed out in the article. I would like to hear the AMA's position on this...

    CCW
     
  11. beastmaster

    beastmaster Senior Member
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  12. exgatr

    exgatr Senior Member
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    I think that if it's necessary, the draft for healthcare professionals should be used. Our soldiers need to be taken care of.

    But...

    If they draft doctors and nurses, they should also cough up a chunk of cash to pay off some loans.
     
  13. zinjanthropus

    Physician Faculty 15+ Year Member

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    yep, maybe we can start an SDN house and be roommates cuz I'll be there too
     
  14. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    i get the master bedroom.
     
  15. Mistress S

    Mistress S Don't mess with the S
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    While WWII was, especially in retrospect, a much more "popular" war than Vietnam or, I don't know, IRAQ, our involvement in it faced opposition during its time just as every war in our history has, which is why we waited years--until we were directly attacked--to become involved, even though Hitler's agressive intentions had long been clear. This may be why a draft was necessary to muster sufficient troops, despite its "immense popularity"--while it is a war we look back on as being "just", there were many Americans at the time who argued against our involvement in what was initially viewed as a European problem. And while I agree it was for a far more legitimate purpose than any war we have been involved in since, there were certainly atrocities committed by both sides (Dresden and Hiroshima come to mind) and unnecessary loss of lives, both for soldiers and civilians. Perhaps you need to brush up on your history.

    In any event I stand by my statement, if people support a war only up to the point that they actually may have to sacrifice for it, then they do not truly support it and neither should our government. I think we have very different views on war and serving in the military and will probably not see eye to eye on this issue--I do not generally believe that there are such things as
    "just wars", and would see being conscripted as a horrible punishment, not an honor. I do not think people should be forced to fight and possibly die for causes they do not believe in, ever.
     
  16. finnpipette

    finnpipette Fallen from Grace
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    For some reason, I'd feel a lot better about a health care professional draft if the government paid for our education. Seeing as we are financing our schooling, it kinda sucks. However, I understand the importance of medical personnel during times of war and would be proud to serve as long as it wasn't a war based on lies and deceit.
     
  17. JohnHolmes

    JohnHolmes Large Member
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    I agree. If you are drafted ALL federal loans need to be forgiven despite time of service.

    CCW
     
  18. MErc44

    MErc44 Senior Member
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    I like that idea.



    Personally I don't think a draft will ever happen now unless we go to war with China. If that happens it will be ridiculous, we will need every man and woman possible to match their overwhelming numbers. Call me crazy but I think I would enjoy a tour at a forward field hospital, especially since I am interested in trauma surgery, orthopedic surgery, EM and anesthesiology, they might not have to draft me.
     
  19. HooahDOc

    Physician 15+ Year Member

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    They wouldn't need the draft if so many people weren't *******.
     
  20. JohnHolmes

    JohnHolmes Large Member
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    Let me commend you on your uncanny insight.

    CCW
     
  21. dsblaha

    dsblaha Senior Member
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    Just because you come from a priveleged class (doctor) doesn't mean you don't have an obligation to serve your country. If my country needs me then I will proudly serve. If we want to maintain our way of life then we have to defend ourselves and that means taking care of soldiers. I can't believe what cowards people are, running to Canada sounds selfish and ungrateful.
     
  22. Mr. Rosewater

    Mr. Rosewater Senior Member
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    i think if it were a REALLY NECESSARY war (ie truly just and unavoidable) and extra doctors were really needed, then i would accept the draft and go and do my best to support the country. however, i can't express how opposed i would be to a draft for something like this current fiasco.
     
  23. JohnHolmes

    JohnHolmes Large Member
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    Cast your ballot in November. ;)

    CCW
     
  24. vtucci

    vtucci Attending in Emergency Medicine
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    I would consider to honor to serve if called. It would be a privilege to practice medicine on the brave men and women who serve our country. Also, we do not always get to pick the wars in which our country fights and maybe we shouldn't. Regardless, when the time comes, those service men and women will need our skills- it is about them, not politics.

    I agree with earlier posts that a 200 lb surgeon is just as useful (and indeed, perhaps more so if he/she has the skills) than a 150 lb surgeon. I would like to join our country's military but I do not know if I will ever get the chance.

    I have struggled with weight all of my life and I do not think a person with a family and genetic history of obesity should be held to the same standard as someone without it. I can look at carbs and gain weight-- my mother eats only 500 calories a day and is still over 200 lbs. I know the arguments that fat people are somehow less disciplined and while that is certainly true for some, I know for a fact that it is not true of us all. I think there would be more health care professionals (and other professionals- lawyers) available if these standards were relaxed.
     
  25. Mr. Rosewater

    Mr. Rosewater Senior Member
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    believe you me, i will. and thanks to my Pitt acceptance, I'm moving to a swing state :clap:
     
  26. HooahDOc

    Physician 15+ Year Member

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    I'll be voting for, and I can tell you this much: I'm either going to be there to support these guys when they get back from battle, or I'm going to be in the **** with them. Depends on if I get an acceptance or not. :D
     
  27. beastmaster

    beastmaster Senior Member
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    Ok. Since I started this thread there have been 2 types of responses.

    1) "I vehemently object, because ..."

    2) "I like the idea, I personally would not mind and would actually enjoy serving my country as an obedient servant bent to the whim of my government's arbitrary desires."

    I'm confused by group #2. If you're so crazy about it, why not support a volunteer system that INDUCES people through <financial> incentive (ostensibly the most important kind), rather than FORCES people through government force. That would be so much more intellectually honest of you, instead of trying to impose a view of the world upon the rest.
     
  28. dsblaha

    dsblaha Senior Member
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    I personally don't want to be in the military but in times of my country's dire need I will go if they request it of me.

    I guess that puts me in group #2
     
  29. greggth

    greggth Senior Member
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    Originally posted by Mistress S
    ... I oppose this 100%, I have no interest in being involved in any war, much less against my will because I made the caring decision to enter a profession where I could help people and communities, not contribute to some government's generally greed-motivated international conflicts. ... I appreciate the sacrifices our soldiers have made, but I abhor the system that forces them to (often unnecessarily) make those sacrifices. If this ever goes into effect, I'm moving to Canada. ;)

    I agree with most of your political views. However:
    1) Doctors can do a lot of good in the armed forces. Look at it this way. You're going to medical school to help people. In a war zone, there are a lot of people who need help. If a soldier is forced to fight in an immoral war, does that mean he doesn't deserve good medical care?
    2) It would be more courageous and show more integrity/character to move to Canada before the draft started. A lot of people would go to Canada after the draft started, not because of any high moral reasons, but just because they didn't want to be shot at!
     
  30. Mistress S

    Mistress S Don't mess with the S
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    1.) Of course soldiers, like all human beings, deserve good medical care--but in order for me to provide it to them in this situation, I would have to involve myself in the aforementioned "immoral war" and risk death for a cause I don't believe in, and I strongly disagree that the government should have a right to make me do this. Also as a doctor in this situation, I would likely not be allowed to render assistance to the enemy that we are shooting at, bombing, etc., who I may feel is every bit as deserving of medical attention; this conflicts deeply with my personal ethics. I return to my original statement, if the government cannot find enough volunteers to fight a war--and that includes support personnel such as medical staff as well as soldiers who will do most of the active fighting--then they have no business waging that war.

    2.) It's not like Canada is waiting with open arms to welcome Americans who want to move there right now. I may apply to medical school in Canada as well as in the US, but from what I gather there are only a couple of schools that even consider US applicants and there is intense competition for the few spots they reserve for them. And apparently even if accepted, gaining Canadian citizenship can be a difficult and lengthy process.

    Anyway, what's so wrong with not wanting to be shot at? I have a strong desire to avoid being shot. I suppose I have "high moral reasons" for objecting to a draft as well, but certainly avoiding death or disability is among them. There are very few causes I would consider worth risking my life for, and I am not aware of a war that has been waged in my lifetime--and probably not for considerably before then--that would qualify. Why should I jump at the chance to be shot at because my government tells me its an "honor"? I'll decide for myself if something is worth dying for, thank you very much. And if I feel its not, I won't hesitate to move elsewhere if that is the only way I can avoid fighting and possibly dying for something I don't strongly believe in.
     
  31. Blisterpeanuts

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    No war is completely just; no cause is simple black and white; and taking a stand always entails risk. Every single conflict that the U.S. has been involved in was, arguably, fought for the wrong reasons. However, the real world is messy and that's the way things happen.

    One thing's for sure, though; lots of guys died in combat so you could have the freedom to voice your opinions in a public forum. If you were less fortunate, you might have been born into a society where women are caged and can be stoned to death for adultery or even for failing to have children. You could have been born into a society where the government thugs could show up at your house and force you and your children to watch as they gouge out your husband's eyes with a hot poker, which was one of Saddam's favorite tricks.

    Yeah, the U.S. isn't perfect by a long shot, but democracy is all about fighting to make it better. As Carl Schurz said in 1899 (and has often been misquoted): "My country, right or wrong. When right, to be kept right. When wrong, to be put right." Running off to Canada to evade service is your choice, and many men of course made that choice in the 1960s, but it does nothing to put things right.

    My 2c.
     
  32. evines

    evines peek-a-boo
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    Actually, military doctors in Iraq are spending a lot of their time and resources treating Iraqi soldiers and civilians.
     
  33. Mistress S

    Mistress S Don't mess with the S
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    In some situations, yes--but we're shooting and bombing people for a reason, i.e. to kill them. It would be kind of counter-productive to shoot or bomb people, then expend medical resources to revive them. So while I would be allowed to render aid to certain "enemies" in certain situations, this would not be at my discretion, and I highly doubt the same kind of resources and effort are put into helping the enemy as our own soldiers.

    And to Blisterpeanuts: you are right that taking a stand entails risk. I would take a stand against fighting in a war I didn't believe in, even if this means I would have to sacrifice and move away from family and friends to avoid persecution from my government. Maybe if enough people stood up for what they believed in and refused to be bullied into fighting our government's greed-motivated wars, our leaders would be forced to take notice and stop fighting those wars, which would be a major step towards "putting things right." I may not single-handedly accomplish this by moving to Canada, but I certainly won't make any statement to my government by allowing myself to be forced into fighting for what I feel to be an unjust cause.
     
  34. ddmo

    ddmo BMF
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    I guess I belong in group #2. If it was deemed necessary I would go.
     

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