‘Do no harm’ vs. ‘legitimate use of force’

EurekAlert, 16 March 2017
Source: University of Montreal
“Should a military doctor obey an order to not treat an enemy combatant? Or certify a sick soldier as fit to fight? Should a nurse take part in interrogations? Ride along on medical caravans to build trust with locals? Violate patient privacy for military ends? These and other questions are being studied by Canadian researchers with the Ethics in Military Medicine Research Group. Their latest paper, published in December in the winter issue of the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, compares the ethics codes of the Canadian Medical Association and the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces. ”
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Study shows healthcare in Syria now a target of war

Reuters, 14 March 2017
Author: Kate Kelland
“The international community must do more to protect healthcare in Syria as medical services become targets of war, according to a study published in The Lancet medical journal on Tuesday. Published to mark the sixth anniversary of the Syrian crisis, the study used data from multiple sources to assess the conflict’s impact on health care and health workers. Researchers said there were almost 200 attacks on health centers last year alone and said a key feature of the weaponisation of healthcare is the repeated targeting of medical facilities with the aim of shutting them down.”
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Personal factors affecting ethical performance in healthcare workers during disasters and mass casualty incidents in Iran: a qualitative study

Med Health Care and Philos (2017). doi:10.1007/s11019-017-9752-7
Authors: Mehrzad Kiani, Mohsen Fadavi, Hamidreza Khankeh, Fariba Borhani
“In emergencies and disasters, ethics are affected by both personal and organizational factors. Given the lack of organizational ethical guidelines in the disaster management system in Iran, the present study was conducted to explain the personal factors affecting ethics and ethical behaviors among disaster healthcare workers.”
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Medical care and social justice in the jungles of Myanmar

The Lancet, 2016, 388 (10058), p2345–2347
Author: Timothy Holtz
“The past year was the worst year for displacement since World War 2. In 2015 alone, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, there were an estimated 12·4 million newly displaced individuals, including 8·6 million internally displaced people (IDPs) and 1·8 million refugees, quadrupling the number of newly displaced people in just 4 years. The sudden and urgent plight of persons from Syria caught up in a civil war is well known, but for more than 60 years the ethnic Kayin (Karen) in eastern Myanmar (Burma) have been enduring human rights violations, oppression, and displacement in their long struggle for human rights and autonomy.”
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WHO calls for immediate safe evacuation of the sick and wounded from conflict areas

World Health Organization, 30 September 2016
“WHO is calling on belligerents in Syria to allow for the immediate and safe evacuation of the sick and wounded from all areas affected by the conflict, including eastern Aleppo. The Organization is also calling for a halt of attacks on health care workers and facilities.”
Find news release here.

Aleppo’s dying children and shattered health system: is there light at the end of the tunnel?

The Conversation, 23 August 2016
Author: Zaher Sahloul
“The Syrian crisis is now in its fifth year. The country’s health services are under unprecedented strain due to the protracted war, deliberate targeting of health staff and infrastructure by the Syrian regime and Russian forces, the exodus of physicians and nurses, shortages of medical supplies and medications and the disruption of medical education and training.”
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Children on Nauru deserve Royal Commission

MJA, 22 August 2016
Author: Nicholas Talley
“Should we, a highly educated profession which knows the overwhelming evidence that detention is causing harm, speak out even more loudly and forcefully and insist on change? I would argue yes. Laws that unnecessarily limit free speech, like the Australian Border Force Act 2015, and secrecy provisions that protect governments, not their citizens, should be removed from the statute books. I would go further; we should lobby for constitutional amendments that better protect all our rights. I welcome the interest that the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has expressed in the case of the Nauru children, but they deserve more.”
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The Shadow Doctors

The New Yorker, June 27 2016 issue
Author: Ben Taub
“In the past five years, the Syrian government has assassinated, bombed, and tortured to death almost seven hundred medical personnel, according to Physicians for Human Rights, an organization that documents attacks on medical care in war zones. (Non-state actors, including ISIS, have killed twenty-seven.) …Thousands of physicians once worked in Aleppo, formerly Syria’s most populous city, but the assault has resulted in an exodus of ninety-five per cent of them to neighboring countries and to Europe. Across Syria, millions of civilians have no access to care for chronic illnesses, and the health ministry routinely prevents U.N. convoys from delivering medicines and surgical supplies to besieged areas. …Despite the onslaught, doctors and international N.G.O.s have forged an elaborate network of underground hospitals throughout Syria.”
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Aleppo MSF-supported hospital destroyed in air strikes in Syria

ABC News with Reuters/AFP, online 29 April 2016
“Air strikes have hit a hospital in a rebel-held area of Syria’s Aleppo killing at least 27 people, including three children and the city’s last paediatrician, according to reports from medics and an observatory body.  The al-Quds hospital was supported by international medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF), who said the facility was destroyed after being hit by a direct air strike that killed at least three doctors.”
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Israel rabbi to paramedics: ‘Leave Palestinians to die’

Aljazeera, 20 April 2016
Author: Jonathan Cook
“There is mounting evidence that Israeli ambulance crews are withholding treatment from Palestinians injured during a wave of attacks over the past six months, according to rights groups. Physicians for Human Rights in Israel, a medical watchdog group, found that wounded Palestinians had been left untreated for as long as two hours. In parallel, says the group, Israeli soldiers regularly deny Palestinian crews in the occupied territories access to injured Palestinians in violation of international agreements.”
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