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Forces Focus – Chris Coppola: A Pediatric Surgeon in Iraq

From the Conversations from Penn State series, this is an interview with former Air Force orthopedic surgeon Chris Coppola on his experience in Iraq.

War is a collection of very personal experiences. It’s interesting to hear from a different perspective than what we generally encounter.

7 Responses to “Forces Focus – Chris Coppola: A Pediatric Surgeon in Iraq”

  1. Kurt says:

    Its really strange to see this video promoted on this website. I have to say I am surprised to watch it. When he said that he refused orders to stop working on a non American patient, because of her age, over an American Soldier I am appalled by this. His rationale that the age of the patient is prevalent to the nationality of the next patient is mind boggling. This is what happens when we allow liberal doctors dictate TCCC in emergency settings. They make decisions with their emotions, not their orders. What would this doctor have had to say if the American Soldier died while waiting for him to conclude his operation on the local patient. I feel for the other patients, but American come first. And he should have been sanctioned for his actions.

    • SSD says:

      Amazingly, the man is a doctor and stands by his oath. Fortunately, our dedication to our beliefs and word isn’t tested in such ways.

      • Kurt says:

        What comes first…His oath to a board of old Doctors, or his oath to his country ?

        • SSD says:

          I can tell by your comments you don’t have anything to do with the medical profession. That oath is to his patients. It’s funny, you probably wouldn’t think twice if Soldier protected an unarmed civilian. You’d probably think it was even honorable. Yet you get worked up over this guy finishing up with the patient he had already started working on.

          • Kurt says:

            Thats apples and oranges. There is an American soldier bleeding in the next room. You have your priorities mixed up. You are thinking as a “doctor,” I am thinking as an American. He was NOT there to give care to villagers, self admitted. He was there as a soldier. That comes first. You are missing the point of his duties because you are deluded by a medical oath.

            • SSD says:

              You see, I’m not a medic. I’m a guy that wants to win the war. And…I’m a guy that is glad to see that a man can stick by his word. His moral code was tested and he made a decision. He gets to look at himself in the mirror each day.

          • Kurt says:

            Could he look at himself the same if the soldier died (and the girl died anyway)…Ok, how about this…he is an 18D and in the field, mortar goes off, while they are on dismounted patrol. Several team members are down in front of him along with several village members. Immediately in front of him is a village member is down with a chest wound, and ten feet further is a fellow soldier with a sucking chest wound. So using your logic he should stop and treat the village member because he is right there and a “patient” too, not crawl over him and treat his fellow soldier first ? (It was a single mortar, don’t try the “care under fire” doctrine answer).