Volume 92, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



During armed conflicts over the past several years, attacks on humanitarian workers and patients have increased, including the most recent overt killing of patients in their hospital beds in South Sudan and Central African Republic, and bombardments of hospitals in Iraq, Syria, and other countries. Direct attacks on patients inside hospitals, as well as social structural dynamics that undermine patient safety and security, are met with apparent indifference by international and medical communities. How can the medical profession remain silent and stand by while these factors render its core mission futile? In this article, I aim to shed light on this issue, and its implications for the future of the neutral and impartial provision of medical care; provide an analysis of underlying and contributing factors; discuss current international strategies; reflect on the responsibility of health providers; explore ways to strengthen our roles as physician advocates; and call for the medical profession to do more to protect medicine's core values.


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  • Received : 11 Jun 2014
  • Accepted : 31 Dec 2014
  • Published online : 01 Apr 2015

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