Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Penicillin Diplomacy DOESN'T come to Franco's Spain

Falangist denied penicillin August '44
Allied post-1943 "Penicillin Diplomacy" was not exactly perfectly aligned with the humanitarian values of Dr Martin Henry Dawson.

He felt his fellow doctors and scientists should buck down and make lots of his "imperfect but good enough" natural penicillin and give it out freely to all who are dying of diseases it could treat.

Instead they were standing around, as at a railway siding outside Auschwitz with jack boots and whip , dividing seriously ill humanity into two lines : you live/ you die.

Playing God.  Just like the Nazi doctors.

All the while placing all the blame for penicillin rationing squarely upon Big Pharma's 15 year delay in producing penicillin.

The same penicillin that Dawson and a few like-minded colleagues felt that any hospital lab tech with a high school diploma could routinely make (to directly quote the equally irate Dr Jimmy Duhig from Brisbane Australia.)

If only hospital doctors would let them.

So let us look at another example of Penicillin Diplomacy, again from the Spanish-speaking world , where this time the dying child was not so lucky.

The baby daughter of the Secretary General of Franco's Falange Party, Senor Moral Figuerres, was refused help about the same time that an international soccer star,  Thomas Abegglen was offered British penicillin.

His neutral country, Switzerland, was considered to be helpful, while Franco's neutral Spain was not.

Bomb babies or refuse them penicillin : Allied death came in many forms...

Letting innocent Spanish baby girls die was one way as good as any to make Franco see the Allied position in a different light ruled those chappies at the British Foreign Office.

In addition, saving a soccer star with diplomatic penicillin promised to see the propaganda message reach a very large class of individuals unmoved by images of saving dying babies.

Individuals with penises, who couldn't really face the harsh wartime realities of Stalingrad, picking up their socks and taking out the garbage and preferred instead to retreat to the synthetic warfare of the sports page instead...

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