[lit-ideas] Re: A Possibly Very Good Idea

  • From: "Simon Ward" <sedward@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2006 20:13:05 +0100


I'd crew on that ship, though I'd like to see the ownership documents, maybe the nationailty of the other crew, and perhaps a few more ships sailing alongside.

1. This is exactly the kind of response the US should be undertaking in order to 'soften' the effects of its more pro-active activities. There are, as you point out, obvious benefits for the US (or whoever owns the boats), but there are also benefits for those in the world who need it most. Providing the destinations are specified on the basis of need rather than (US) interest, then critics (like myself) would have a hard time finding fault.

2. The remit should be expanded to move beyond just the medical provision. (Some won't like this.) I'd like to see a UN rapid reaction force to include troops as well as recovery resources. UN members would provide personnel in accordance with their current financial provision to the UN (or perhaps in accordance with the size of their current armed forces). The unit would fall under the UN or a department of it and would be sent to military/disaster hotspots in accordance with UN resolutions if required.

Only a couple of points, but feedback none the less.


----- Original Message ----- From: "Eric Yost" <eyost1132@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>; "Theoria@xxxxxxxxxxxxx:Discussion of philosophy and the arts" <THEORIA@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Saturday, August 19, 2006 7:10 PM
Subject: [lit-ideas] A Possibly Very Good Idea

Forgive the cross-posting of the message. This occurred to me as a good idea and I wanted to send it to both Lists to get feedback on it.

How to create the medical infrastructure to respond to terrorism and also improve the US image abroad?

The US could establish a large fleet of hospital ships. (I think we have one at the moment.) Doctors and nurses would receive significant tuition reimbursement in exchange for service on these ships.

These ships would be sent all over the world to treat diseases in less developed nations. The benefits would be:

(1) good PR for the US,
(2) increased knowledge of tropical diseases that our immigration policies will eventually bring to the US,
(3) economies of scale in drug research for those diseases, and importantly,
(4) the ability to respond to a bioterror attack in the United States.

At present, the CDC has admitted that it has no infrastructure to deal with bio- or radiological terrorism. Having a fleet of hospital ships would allow the US to respond quickly to such attacks in US coastal cities.

If there were a terrorist attack in Philadelphia, for example, our hospital ships could be quickly called upon to serve the area, thereby preventing the collapse of the healthcare system.

The obvious drawback is the cost, but there seem to be many pluses to this idea. Feedback? Tweaks?

Eric Yost
trying to think outside the ship

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