Some alert readers have recently made me aware of a frightening possibility in the future: a “skills draft” targetting Americans with certain skills, including medical training. I don’t mean to be overly alarmist, as the plan is only that–initial planning–just in case Congress would ever authorize a second draft. But the fact that it’s even being planned is a little frightening. (This draft would also include women–generally all citizens up to the age of 34.)
There’s more information at The Blatant Truth, including a PDF of a FOIA document that unearthed the information, and a great deal more at DailyKos. (And from what I’ve heard, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” isn’t enforced for medical personnel.)
I would imagine a significant number of health care professionals–doctors, nurses, etc.–would fundamentally be opposed to being sent to war on ethical grounds: that whole concept of “killing people” and “causing harm” don’t really go too well with the Hippocratic Oath.
Update: Medpundit and Gruntdoc both say it’s all over-reaction. I’m sure it’s easy much easier to downplay the concerns of young polyglots, computer network engineers, and medical students when you’re over 35, and not at risk of being drafted. (And god forbid should bioterrorism occur, I hope we don’t turn so militarized that waves of physicians get drafted–add us to the Public Health Corps or the CDC, but not the Armed Services.)