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May 11, 1984

Claymore Clara

JAMA. 1984;251(18):2343-2344. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340420017007

Although it is over 15 years since I left Vietnam, the memory of one of my Vietnamese patients continues to haunt me. I was one of the physicians who, under the auspices of the American Medical Association, volunteered for two months' medical service to Vietnamese civilians.

Claymore Clara was a Viet Cong patient I treated at the Provincial Hospital in Nha-Trang, South Vietnam. She had been nicknamed Claymore Clara by one of the nurses. Once most of the Viet Cong realized that we were not going to eat their liver, drink their blood, or steal their children (as they had been propagandized to believe), they became quite appreciative of our care. But not Claymore Clara.

Her Viet Cong group had been caught by the Green Berets laying Claymore mines around the CamRhan Bay area, and by the time the action was over, Clara was the only survivor. She had been