"Is It Worth Living For ~ A Different Way of Looking at It"

By nsalem

"Attention All personnel attention attention. Choppers ambulances wounded in the compound. All medical teams to compound."

Everyone runs into the compound and Hawkeye looks at a patient with a belly wound and arm wound. "Get this one in the pre-op. We might be able to save that arm."

"Doc. if you can't save this arm please don't save me," The patient said.

"We'll do everything we can," Hawkeye said while the corpsmen took him.

*in the OR 2 hours later*

"Dam," Hawkeye said while working on that boy.

"What is it son?" Potter asked at the next table.

"This kids not going to make it."

"Is it his arm?" BJ asked at another table.

"No its his belly. His arm cannot be saved. But I'm not sure I want to take his arm."

"What do you mean?" Potter said.

"Well if we save his arm he'll live a total of a day. And if we take away his arm he'll live for a week. No matter what he'll die in pain. Wouldn't it be better to let him die without the arm?"

"What about him? Maybe we can ask him?"

"We can't ask him when he wakes. We need to decide right now. He already said not to let him live without his arm."

"But all guys say that before they go under. They adjust later," BJ said.

"But this is different his going to die anyways."

"Keep it. It will let him die in peace," Father mulcahy said.

"Take it. He'll have a week to live,"BJ said.

"What are you going to do?" Potter asked.

*in post-op hours later*

"Hey Doctor thanks for saving my arm," the patient said to Hawkeye while Hawkeye was passing by.

Hawkeye stopped and sat next to him. "I got to tell you something son."

"My arm is okay is it doc."

"Yes your arms fine. But..."

"But whats wrong Doctor?"

"Ummmm. Maybe I should have Father Mulcahy talk to you."

"Doctor whats wrong?"

"Your dying."

"What? I thought my arms fine."

"Your arm doesn't matter. Its your other wound."

"How long do I have?"

"22 to 24 hours. 48 at the latest."

"There's something your not telling me. What is it?"

"I don't think you should know."

"Tell me."

"If we took off your arm."

"What would have happened?"

"You would have lived a week at the earliest. 9 days at most."

"You son of a bachelor. You should have took my arm."

"You said you wanted to keep it."

"Thats before I knew I was dying. Can you take it and let me live for a week?"

"Impossible you won't make it through the operation."

"Why can't you save me?"

"Sometimes doctors just can't save lives."

"Please say this is all a dream. That when I wake up I'll have my arm and be well."

"I wish it was. I wish this entire nightmare was. I'll see you later."


Hawkeye walked elsewhere. One of the patients stopped him. "Doc how's Jim?"


"The patient you were just talking to."

"Oh his not going to make it."


"Were doing all we can but theres just to much injuries."

"Darn it. The guy saved our lives and his dying."

"What do you mean saved your lives? Your wounded to."

"The guy went in front of us all and saw the enemy first and told us to retreat it was to late but we would have been all dead if he didn't go first."

"Oh lord."

*the next day*

"Goodbye mom. I'm sorry I couldn't see you one last time," Jim said on the phone in post-op.

Jim died a couple hours later.

*In Father Mulcahy's tent*

"The guy died in vein. I wish it was all a nightmare."

"Hawkeye you got to accept this and move on. He was a good man who died in war. There are lots of them in war."

"Attention Attention all personnel incoming wounded all medical teams to the compound."

"Thanks father I have to go relieve some more suffering."

*the end*