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Modern Medicine Might Have Saved Lincoln

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the quickly-to-the-delorean dept.

Biotech 281

Pcol writes "For the past 13 years the University of Maryland School of Medicine has presented a historical clinicopathological conference where they consider famous historical medical cases such as the death of Alexander the Great and composer Ludwig van Beethoven and provide a modern diagnosis and treatment in each case. This year Dr. Thomas M. Scalea, physician-in-chief for the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center discusses if the world's first center for trauma victims could have improved the outcome had Lincoln's assassination occurred in 2007. 'This could be a recoverable injury, with a reasonable expectation he would survive,' Scalea said, noting that assassin's weapon was relatively impotent compared to the firepower now on the streets today. The modern prognosis predicts that Lincoln might have conceivably recovered enough to return to the White House to complete his second term."

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Besides that Mrs. Lincoln... (5, Funny)

andy314159pi (787550) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183451)

Besides that Mrs. Lincoln... how was the play?

Goat Sea (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19183563)

Goat C [goatse.ch]

My first posting powers are weak today :(

Re:Besides that Mrs. Lincoln... (5, Funny)

Daychilde (744181) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183685)

Too soon! Too soon! ;-)

Re:Besides that Mrs. Lincoln... (1)

andy314159pi (787550) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183701)

awww, but I followed the 125 years until it's funny rule!

Re:Besides that Mrs. Lincoln... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183819)

It was bloody mess! The worst night in my life. But play wasn't that bad.

so, what this article is saying is... (5, Insightful)

yagu (721525) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183457)

So, what this article is saying is, "Today's technology better than technology 150 years ago..."

And, as pointed out in the article, the weapon used then was relatively impotent. Would it not be safe to consider that if the assassination were committed today the assassin likely would have also used updated technology (i.e., something more, ahem, potent)?

Re:so, what this article is saying is... (2, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183611)

Like a ricin pellet inside an umbrella, and tap the guy on the leg?

Re:so, what this article is saying is... (1)

SomeWhiteGuy (920943) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183647)

Not necessarily the technology but the methods. Classic case of 'hind sight is 20/20'.

Re:so, what this article is saying is... (4, Funny)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183795)

No it isn't. If it was, Lincoln might not have even been hit!

Re:so, what this article is saying is... (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183703)

Sure, but the assassin probably wouldn't have been able to get within 30 yards of the President's seats at the theatre either, and probably wouldn't have even been able to get within a block of the theatre without being sent through a couple of metal detectors, patted down, and getting a background check done either. Even then, he probably would have had to have raised a lot of money for the Republican party to get into the theatre itself.

I think this article is just a pat on the back to the medical research community for how far we've come. Clearly, there is so much different now in terms of security, weaponry available, and etc, that you could never say that Lincoln would have survived now, or even that there would have been a serious attempt on his life. Hell, in Lincoln's day anyone could just walk right up to the White House, knock on the front door, and request an audience. These days, you can't even get close.

Re:so, what this article is saying is... (4, Interesting)

jfengel (409917) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183961)

It's kind of astonishing to think that security around the President was so much less then. It's not like they didn't know that people had a gripe against Lincoln. Yeah, nobody had assassinated a President before, but sovereign rulers had been the target of people with grievances before.

I wonder if they were just naive about security, or if perhaps it was a more genteel time in general.

Re:so, what this article is saying is... (2, Insightful)

sexyrexy (793497) | more than 7 years ago | (#19184039)

I think it was a far more civilized time in many respects. For example, I think it's a pretty recent development that a non-trivial bloc of the population would actually cheer for the assassination of President Bush. Now, regardless of whether we agree with his policies, I find that pretty disgusting. I think partisanship and common decency have plunged to new depths just as human rights overall and quality of life have risen to great heights.

Re:so, what this article is saying is... (4, Informative)

lord_mike (567148) | more than 7 years ago | (#19184007)

Lincoln was shot at several times... One time, he was walking around in a park and his hat suddenly flew off... When he picked it up, there was a bullet hole in it.

His wife was very nervous for his safety, but he refused any bodyguards of any type. When he was inaugurated, he was sneaked into Washington, literally under a cloak. Some local papers got a hold of that story and mocked him for being cowardly. So, he instead was very open and brazen, much to the chagrin of his Mary Todd, who worried herself sick over his safety.

Her greatest fear became reality that night at the theater.

Thanks,

Mike

Re:so, what this article is saying is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19183753)

I think the question of "potency" in this case needs to be evaluated from various angles. Are the firearms today producing better single shots or just the ability to fire more rounds? Perhaps both but in a lot of ways the point is kind of moot since Booth chose a weapon that, even in it's time, was fairly inappropriate. It makes you wonder why Booth decided on his firearm. Was it a matter or access? Probably not since firearms were less regulated at the time. We know the attack was planned so it's not a matter of having time to arm himself. And considering the bulkiness of the firearm I find it hard to believe it was a question of it being concealable.

Maybe FWB was just that incompetent. Maybe a single shot from a modern firearm in the hands of FWB would have done just the same thing and he was a poor marksman or unknowledgable in forensics/ballistics. I know, at point blank poor marksmanship seems inconceivable but there is a lot of it that goes around.

Re:so, what this article is saying is... (1)

oldmacdonald (80995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183873)

So, if FWB was more competent, he would have killed Lincoln more?

Re:so, what this article is saying is... (4, Funny)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183885)

If this happened today Lincoln would have been prescribed prozac at 15, lightened up, and become a full-time circus clown. Mary Todd, would just be called Todd after the gender-reassignment and Booth would have made it in Hollywood and become another eccentric scientologist and could take his aggression out of people who leave the church. Happy Endings for all!

Re:so, what this article is saying is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19183891)

Bah! Prove it. Take a president (use your imagination!) and do a test shot with a muzzle loading pistol and see if they can patch him up. It would all be in the name of science of course.

Don't let Cheney do it though, he'll shoot him in the face.

Re:so, what this article is saying is... (1)

teflonscout (302958) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183939)

But could we save Kennedy? Just kidding, on a more technical note, there are tons of cool new toys for medics and trauma doctors. I have been amazed by how slowly emergency rooms are adopting chitosan bandages [wired.com] like HemCon despite their proven effectiveness in Iraq. Pretty soon we may be able to use hydrogen sulfide to put people into suspended animation for very long surgeries.

Yes, but... (1)

SkunkWorx (662057) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183465)

...what kind of gun would he have been shot with had today's technology been around? Certainly not one that was "relatively impotent compared to the firepower now on the streets today."

And not to mention (3, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183699)

...what kind of gun would he have been shot with had today's technology been around?

and don't forget, they didn't even have the catcher in the rye back then.

Interesting Thought (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183467)

Yeah... but what if he'd been shot with a modern gun?

Re:Interesting Thought (1)

The_Rook (136658) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183617)

best comparison might be to when ronald reagan was shot.

.25 auto would have bounced off his skull. (0, Offtopic)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183641)

Not all modern weapons are any good. Some are damn near useless.

Re:.25 auto would have bounced off his skull. (1)

JesseL (107722) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183883)

You do know that the 25ACP is nearly 100 years old now, right? (Of course the same goes for 45ACP and 9mm Luger)

Re:.25 auto would have bounced off his skull. (1)

bhsurfer (539137) | more than 7 years ago | (#19184033)

Another appx 100-year-older is the not-so-ineffective 30-06. One of those puppies will put a definite plot twist into any play.

What's the fuss (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183477)

Yes, if the medical technologies and treatments we have today were developed earlier they could have saved people who are now dead. Isn't that obvious??!

Re:What's the fuss (4, Funny)

Applekid (993327) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183593)

I'd be more impressed if modern science managed to bring Lincoln back from the dead. ;)

Re:What's the fuss (1)

uberjoe (726765) | more than 7 years ago | (#19184037)

Dear Applekid,

Just wait. We are working on it.

Sincerely,

The Raëlians [wikipedia.org]

Re:What's the fuss (1)

acidrain69 (632468) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183739)

Obvious, yes. I think the real story here is that this is what medical geeks do in their spare time; apply their trade to historic events in a what-if scenario.

similar studies? (4, Interesting)

emc (19333) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183487)

do they have similar presentations at conferences, like how the civil war would have ended if the south had stealth bombers... and how Hannibal would have done if he had a fleet of Hummers with 50cal BMGs?

Re:similar studies? (2, Funny)

greenguy (162630) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183853)

What if Frodo had had a spaceship with an Improbability Drive?

Re:similar studies? (3, Interesting)

aktzin (882293) | more than 7 years ago | (#19184073)

Your comment reminded me of this funny "what if...?" look at Lord of the Rings:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnUvw1rzziE [youtube.com]

similar patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19183859)

Considering Lincoln had a patent (the only one to have one). History would have been different.

Re:similar studies? (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183933)

I remember an early SNL episode that had Kirk Douglas in a skit called "What if Spartacus Had a Piper Cub?"

Truly A Miracle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19183493)

Did they also have a cure for being 198 years old?

Re:Truly A Miracle (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183969)

More importamtly, could he get elected again wearing that stovepipe hat of his?

Re:Truly A Miracle (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#19184061)

Yes...assuming it shoots buckets of money at voters.

Ba-dum-bum (3, Insightful)

Bobb Sledd (307434) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183495)

...Is that because you don't need a brain to be president?

Of course... it could also be said that "modern security could have prevented the weapon being anywhere near the president in the first place."

And... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19183501)

And if wishes were horses, then beggars would ride.

In other news... (1)

Wolvie MkM (661535) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183505)

... the sky is blue and bears defecate in the woods...

Interesting, But The Gun Would Be Better Too (-1, Redundant)

dprovine (140134) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183513)

Medically, this is interesting, but of course if Lincoln had
been shot in 2007, it would have been with a modern gun...

Re:Interesting, But The Gun Would Be Better Too (1)

djh101010 (656795) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183671)

A .44 blackpowder pistol isn't underpowered.

So and so and so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19183527)

What!?

If only! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19183531)

The modern prognosis predicts that Lincoln might have conceivably recovered enough to return to the White House to complete his second term.
Hopefully, to be impeached and convicted for his blatant circumventions of the Constitution.

Worthless. (3, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183533)

And future medicine might have brought him back from the dead, able to play piano and fly! Or maybe not. No medicine might have saved George Washington, instead of the leeches.

Such pointless speculation. Yes, obviously better medical care could have saved a lot of people. How about "Modern Medicine Could Have Prevented Black Plague!" Maybe, "85% of amputations during the civil war wouldn't have occurred with modern surgery!" Seriously, I can keep this up all day...

Re:Worthless. (4, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183621)

I think the point of the study wasn't that modern medicine could have saved him, it's how it could have. Anyone could come along and say, "oh yeah, modern medicine would have saved him." It takes someone with more experience than the peanut gallery here on Slashdot to explain how.

leeches! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19183985)

How dare you disparage leeches?? They come to us on the highest recommendation of Dr. Hoffmann of Stuttgart! The great Hoffman! Owner of the largest leech-farm in Europe!

George Washington might have been saved... (1)

Nick Driver (238034) | more than 7 years ago | (#19184009)

No medicine might have saved George Washington, instead of the leeches.

The deliberate blood draining definitely killed any chance he would've had to recover... but important to note that there *was* medicine available back then that could've probably gone a long way towards healing his epiglotitis/throat infection... golden seal root was well-known by Native Americans, as well as colonial folk medicine in the 1700-1800's, to have healing powers for infections. And indeed modern science has shown it to have some fairly strong antibiotic capabilities. I've used it myself for sinus infections and strep throat, and it definitely works. Not quite as good as modern prescription antibiotics, but good enough for me.

Re:Worthless. (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 7 years ago | (#19184059)

Abraham Lincoln, president. A man barely alive.
Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world's first bionic man. President Lincoln will be that man. Better than he was before. Better...stronger...faster.
*Doo doo dee dahhhhh*

The only catch is that all of his implants are steam powered.

great (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19183535)

Just what we needed - another 4 years of disastrous warmongering republican presidency, attacking and occupying an innocent country that was incapable of harming the US, and getting the country bogged down into a long-term occupation.

Re:great (1)

njchick (611256) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183683)

Innocent? Incapable of harming the US? Nothing has ever harmed the United States more than the Confederation!

And if I were him... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19183545)

I'd have preferred to die. Being 198 years old would not be fun.

*sigh* (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183551)

In other news, life expectancy is no longer 50, bloodletting is no longer a recommended medical treatment, and witches do, in fact, sink when tied to large stones and thrown into water.

Anyone get the impression that calling a gun used in an assassination 150 years ago impotent compared to today's weapons is just another salvo launched from the anti-gun crowd?

Re:*sigh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19184035)

Anyone get the impression that calling a gun used in an assassination 150 years ago impotent compared to today's weapons is just another salvo launched from the anti-gun crowd?

I hadn't even considered that until you brought it up. My first reaction was that that notion is just silly.

Then I thought about again a little more.

Nope. Still just silly.

What about leeches? (1)

technoextreme (885694) | more than 7 years ago | (#19184119)

In other news, life expectancy is no longer 50, bloodletting is no longer a recommended medical treatment, and witches do, in fact, sink when tied to large stones and thrown into water.

Interestingly enough leeches today are a recommended treatment for amputees.

Such a shame... (2, Funny)

clem (5683) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183567)

If only cryogenic resurrection centers had existed at that time we might still have Lincoln with us today.

Re:Such a shame... (5, Funny)

markbt73 (1032962) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183867)

You don't need cryogenic centers. Two guys with a phone booth will do just fine.

"Hello San Dimas!"

Re:Such a shame... (4, Funny)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 7 years ago | (#19184099)

No mod points for the reference? ... BOGUS

Re:Such a shame... (4, Funny)

ozbird (127571) | more than 7 years ago | (#19184015)

If only cryogenic resurrection centers had existed at that time we might still have Lincoln with us today.

... and after seeing the current state of the Union, he'd probably shoot himself.

Re:Such a shame... (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 7 years ago | (#19184017)

Then he could finally tell us if Booth acted alone or if there was another gunman shooting from the refreshment stand.

So what? I can dish out more examples too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19183579)

If we could go back in 1907 knowing what we know today, we might have a chance to save the planet and our own future as a race.

Quick, somebody go and build a time machine!

Re:So what? I can dish out more examples too... (0, Offtopic)

Wolvie MkM (661535) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183613)

How would producing 5 ton, 20ft SUV's help us?

Theoretical Only (1)

Mephistophocles (930357) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183587)

These sorts of studies are interesting in that they often prove that modern medicine could have saved these famous folks, but what they fail to take into consideration is the fact that such people existed only because of the times they lived in. It's impossible to imagine that Beethoven, for example, could have been "saved" by modern medicine when one considers that Beethoven could not exist as he was in the modern age.

Don't get me wrong, it's certainly an interesting study to attempt to diagnose an individual's condition when only historical data exists. I'm sure there also are ways in which such studies, when done correctly, could help advance modern medicine. My point is just that it's important to see them in context, and to be careful not to use them as proof that modern man is somehow inherently "better" than his ancestors.

Booker T. Washington (1)

Chysn (898420) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183625)

The 2006 guy is Booker T. Washington. For some reason, they never actually mention his name in the summary or the full treatment. (http://www.medicalalumni.org/CPC/pages/previous.h tm)

The point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19183643)

Everyone seems to griping about the anachronistic quality of this study, but that's sort of how it works; the point of this sort of conference seems to be to emphasize the importance of both the development of medical technology and getting that (or just the basics) available to as many people as possible, not to simply satisfy everyone's "what if" curiosity.

Gun impotent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19183649)

Millions of corpses just rolled in their graves.

It must be true! (2, Funny)

katterjohn (726348) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183657)

Because I just saw him on TV with a gopher

Dork-fest Extraordinaire (0, Flamebait)

queenb**ch (446380) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183661)

It sounds like the guys who are too embarrassed to admit that they still live in Mom's basement found somewhere else to go besides the Star Trek convention. I bet if you raided 100 of their houses, you'd find 99 sets of Spock ears. Seriously, how is this news? Any of us can sit around and speculate about what would happen if Carthage had cannons, if Herodotus had a laptop, if the Romans had camcorders, if Galen had an ICU or if Battle Star Galactica had Romulan cloaking devices or of both BSG & ST had SG's star gates. It's still just that - speculation and it's just about as relevant to anything as my toe jam.
2 cents,

Queen B.

Re:Dork-fest Extraordinaire (4, Funny)

sd_diamond (839492) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183887)

Any of us can sit around and speculate about what would happen if Carthage had cannons, if Herodotus had a laptop, if the Romans had camcorders,

I'm particularly interested in what would happen if Caligula had a camcorder.

Yeah, maybe, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19183663)

Zombie Jesus hates it when people cheat death, so he might have fried Lincoln's ass with his eye lasers a couple days later anyway. Then Time-travelling Elvis might have gyrated on Lincoln's crisp body while Parallel-dimension Grog the Caveman and Down-the-street William might have done play-by-play.

who tags this crap? (1)

luckymutt (996573) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183679)

Why is this tagged "biotech" and "science"??
Honestly, /. needs a "stoner revelations" tag if they are going to post this goofy stuff.
"hey...if I had gills, I bet I could swim underwater longer...yeah"

Good thing he's (still) dead (0, Offtopic)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183687)

Lincoln is overrated anyway.

Re:Good thing he's (still) dead (0, Troll)

JesseL (107722) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183925)

Amen [lneilsmith.net] . Sic Semper Tyrannis.

Energy / Velocity Compared.. (4, Informative)

nexuspal (720736) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183737)

Lincoln was shot with a .41 derringer, possibly using a rimfire cartridge filled with black power link [wikipedia.org]
It consisted of a 130 grain lead bullet propelled at 425 ft/second and had a total energy of right around 52 ft. lbs.

Compare that to a modern day 40 S&W cartridge (used by most police today), that sends a 135 grain modern day Jacketed Hollow Point expanding bullet at a velocity of 1200 ft/second producing around 432 ft. lbs. of energy out of a 4 inch barrel (slight loss of velocity for a shorter barrel). This would have gone clean through the head, leaving an approximately .8 inch diameter hole as opposed to the .41 inch hole left by the derringer that did not penetrate
link [wikipedia.org]

He most likely would not have survived if this happened in the modern day.

Thanks... (1)

nexuspal (720736) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183995)

I show the actual velocity figures for a .41 black powder cartridge and get marked redundant... Thanks Slashdot... Maybe everyone knew that they produced a paultry 51 ft. lbs. and I'm just talking to the wall. (51 ft. lbs. is 50 ft. lbs. less than a 22 rimfire!).

Re:Energy / Velocity Compared.. (1)

djh101010 (656795) | more than 7 years ago | (#19184081)

Lincoln was shot with a .41 derringer, possibly using a rimfire cartridge filled with black power link [wikipedia.org]
It consisted of a 130 grain lead bullet propelled at 425 ft/second and had a total energy of right around 52 ft. lbs.
Everything I've seen shows he was shot with a .44 derringer, not a .41 derringer. Significant difference. Also, was it a cartridge gun or a muzzleloader? I've seen it, I just don't remember. If it's a muzzleloader then it's impossible for us to know what the ME was of that particular shot; someone trying to kill the President probably didn't follow the manufacturer's safe loading guidelines. I'm trying to find a link to the pics of the exact gun but they're blocked from where I'm at right now...

He would die anyway today (2)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183765)

What would happen today is that the bullet would be deflected by Chuck Norris' beard...Lincoln's head would explode out of shear amazement.

WTF? (1)

Cytlid (95255) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183769)

WTF is this? A cross between Doogie Houser and a LARP? What do they call it, "Fantasy Medicine"?

Stating the obvious (3, Insightful)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183775)

In other news, a recent study shows that using modern materials as well as safety and engineering best practices might have prevented the Titanic disaster.

Seriously, it's been said many times on here already, but, how is this news?

Re:Stating the obvious (1)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 7 years ago | (#19184005)

Also, not running into an iceberg. Is it just an urban legend that they were too cheap to buy a pair of binoculars?

Re:Stating the obvious (2, Informative)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 7 years ago | (#19184075)

Is it just an urban legend that they were too cheap to buy a pair of binoculars?

Yes, it's an Urban Legend. They had binoculars and they afforded them an excellent view of fog. Of course, knowing they were going into water that had icebergs floating in it, they probably would have been smart to drastically cut their speed, or perhaps plot a coarse around the fog bank, but then again, they believed the marketing kool-aid. In other news Vista is the most successful OS ever created.

OT plug for Lincoln biography (1)

CheeseTroll (696413) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183799)

OT, but a lot more interesting, IMHO...

I'm currently reading a fantastic biography of Lincoln & several members of his cabinet, called Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln [amazon.com]

I've never found politics particularly interesting, but Doris Kearns Goodwin really brings it to life.

Tommorow's technology could save Jesus (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183813)

Check this video [youtube.com] for the details of a fascinating technology of tommorow, that could save Jesus.

There's a big flaw in their logic (4, Funny)

sd_diamond (839492) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183825)

This year Dr. Thomas M. Scalea, physician-in-chief for the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center discusses if the world's first center for trauma victims could have improved the outcome had Lincoln's assassination occurred in 2007

They failed to take into account how frail and weak a Lincoln would be at the age of 198. Surely this would offset most of the benefits of modern medicine.

Honestly, guys, do I have to do all of your thinking for you?

Newsflash! Amelia Earhart Could Have Survived! (1)

searchr (564109) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183841)

If only she had a modern GPS unit on her.

And Dinosaurs. They'd exist today if only there were modern breeding programs at the time.

And the Hindenburg. with modern safety features, it never would have burned.

And Jack the Ripper. Modern forensics would have closed his case.

So many avertable tragedies. So few time machines.

Compare apples with apples (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183843)

An assassin today wouldn't use an outdated gun. He'd use an automatic, if available (Uzis come to mind) and spray his target. Or he would use a weapon with greater impact.

Of course it's easy to say today all those people who were murdered could have been saved with modern medicine. I'm quite aware that assassins are aware of this and use methods that prove to be fatal compared to the potential of their adversaries, the medics trying to save the life of the target.

Think of Caesar. Back then a stab anywhere in the abdomen was pretty much a surefire way to kill. Today you might have to hit your mark, and even then...

Think of all those people who were poisoned. How many would go to a doc today and he'd find out immediately and before it's too late that they are poisoned and what the antidote would be? Would an assassin use the same poison? No, he'd pick a killing method that can't be countered. Just like they did back then.

So, generally, I wouldn't read too much into this. Yes, they could have been saved by modern medicine if someone was stupid enough to try to kill them in an old fashion way.

Re:Compare apples with apples (1)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 7 years ago | (#19184063)

An assassin today wouldn't use an outdated gun. He'd use an automatic, if available (Uzis come to mind) and spray his target. Or he would use a weapon with greater impact. Wow, you watch too many movies, and know too little about guns. Fully auto spraying is the least accurate form of shooting a gun that EXISTS. It isn't worth the time or effort to get a fully automatic firearm for such a purpose, anyway - they're illegal unless you have a special permit that is expensive and impossible to get, and too dang easy to track if you DO have one illegally.

A silenced .22 would have done the job. An assassin MIGHT use a larger caliber.

You'd be surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19184095)

Think of Caesar. Back then a stab anywhere in the abdomen was pretty much a surefire way to kill.

The 1st century Roman military doctor, Galen, had clean, sterile military hospitals. Wounded Roman soldiers of his day had recovery rates unsurpassed until World War I.

THIS JUST IN... (1)

sigsegfalt (1104159) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183855)

Computers are also faster now than they were 150 years ago.

Thank you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19183863)

Thank you for emailing me an image of a message regarding my inbox. I will be sure to check it soon.

Sic semper tyrannis (1)

Lucas123 (935744) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183905)

So modern medicine could have saved Lincoln? So then, by that reasoning John would have had time to use his cell phone to call Jodie and profess his undying love.

No mention of Charles Wilkes Booth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19183921)

Probably would have been easier to save John Wilkes Booth. Given current attitudes, it would have been more important to save him, so they could execute him later.

OMG what a poignant revelation. (1)

kennylogins (1092227) | more than 7 years ago | (#19183967)

Oh and since nobody has already said it about 18 times. "He would have been shot with a modern gun, so like no way dude!" In your face article writer guy!

Funny wording. (1)

u-bend (1095729) | more than 7 years ago | (#19184011)

> if the world's first center for trauma victims could have improved the outcome had Lincoln's assassination occurred in 2007.

Funny thing to attempt. Sounds like a great mafia tagline: "Improving the outcome of assassinations since 1865!"

And if same-sex marriage had been available... (1)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 7 years ago | (#19184013)

...he might have married Joshua Speed instead of Mary Todd. And, as a result, he might have been unelectable in 1860 or 2008. And might not have had a political career. And might not have been assassinated.

But if HIV had been available, he might have gotten AIDS.

But if acyclovir had been available, he might not have died from it.

But if nuclear weapons had been available, the Civil War might have turned into a nuclear holocaust and he might had died from that.

But if global warming had been available, the United States might have been uninhabitable and he might have been an Englishman.

Darn! (1)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 7 years ago | (#19184021)

So much for that plan of getting Hillary Clinton to go to the theater if she gets elected in 2008! ;-)

Now all we need is a time machine (1)

mediocubano (801656) | more than 7 years ago | (#19184069)

So now we just need our time machines. Take modern medicine back to Lincoln to save him. Yeah that would do it.

Wait, I just had another idea. Why not take that same time machine back to Lincoln, only 5 minutes earlier in time. Earlier enough to just yell "DUCK!

What the hell am I supposed to do with any of this information? Does this even qualify as news?

Lincoln wasn't worth saving (0, Flamebait)

Yonder Way (603108) | more than 7 years ago | (#19184071)

Before you mod me down, understand that history is won by the victors.

I would suggest that Abraham Lincoln is probably one of the templates for the current US administration. Suspension of habeus corpus, erosion of state and individual rights, unconstitutional increases of executive power, etc. If you look at US history, the tyrannical empire started well on its way under the Lincoln administration. He actually had no interest in freeing the slaves (he's on record as such) and only did so as a military strategy to try and weaken the south.

My only regret about Lincoln's assassination is that it didn't come years sooner.

OK now you can go ahead and mod me down.
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