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War and HealthThe Medical Consequences of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan$
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Catherine Lutz and Andrea Mazzarino

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781479875962

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479875962.001.0001

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The Political Capital of War Wounds

The Political Capital of War Wounds

(p.137) 6 The Political Capital of War Wounds
War and Health

Ghassan Soleiman Abu-Sittah

NYU Press

Iraq’s healthcare infrastructure has deteriorated after decades of war and sanctions. A small fraction of Iraqis injured as a result of war have accessed quality care at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUMC), some funded by the Iraqi government. This chapter, based on the author’s work as a surgeon treating Iraqi war wounded at the AUMC, describes how powerful elites determine the political value of a war wound, influencing what a person’s injury means to the country as a whole and hence, the kind of treatment the Iraqi government is willing to sponsor. As such, the chapter sheds light on a form of social stratification shaping access to care for war-injured populations in Iraq and around the world, as political elites seek legitimation for their projects.

Keywords:   Iraq, war wounds, healthcare, political elites, American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUMC)

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