The solidarity and health neutrality of physicians in war & peace

Frederick M. Burkle, Timothy Erickson, Johan von Schreeb, Stephanie Kayden, Anthony Redmond, Emily Y.Y. Chan, Francesco Della Corte, Hilarie Cranmer, Yasuhiro Otomo, Kirsten Johnson, Nobhojit Roy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The wars in the Middle East have led to unprecedented threats and attacks on patients, healthcare workers, and purposeful targeting of hospitals and medical facilities. It is crucial that every healthcare provider, both civilian and military, on either side of the conflict become aware of the unique and inherent protections afforded to them under International Humanitarian Law. However, these protections come with obligations. Whereas Governments must guarantee these protections, when violated, medical providers have equal duty and obligations under the Law to ensure that they will neither commit nor assist in these violations nor take part in any act of hostility. Healthcare providers must not allow any inhuman or degrading treatment of which they are aware and must report such actions to the appropriate authorities. Failure to do so leads to risks of moral, ethical and legal consequences as well as penalties for their actions and inactions. There must be immediate recognition by all parties of the neutrality of health care workers and their rights and responsibilities to care for any sick and injured patient, regardless of their nationality, race, religion, or political point of view.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPLoS Currents
Volume8
Issue numberDisasters
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 20 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

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