Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"Too Scared to Seek Treatment"

Footage in this video shows a health professional striking a wounded patient as he is being carried out of the ambulance. Amnesty International reports that the footage is consistent with many testimonies where patients suffer beatings from their doctors or government authorities in Syria.

In an interview, a former Syrian doctor claims that the state administered hospitals are required to report their wounded to the authorities. The government is concerned about taking suspected people who have been wounded to interrogation immediately rather than to give them treatment. Many fear going to the hospital as they will be captured and tortured by the military.

There is a serious dilemma here: as doctors, you either report your patients to the authorities and risk them not getting treatment and eventually tortured, or protect your patients and put yourself at risk of arrest and torture. “Those inside Syria who are injured or dying have a right to basic medical treatment. The Syrian government needs to stop discriminating based on assumed political ties of the wounded.”

It is troubling to know that you cannot speak out against the government. It is even more disturbing to know that when you do and you are injured and dying, doctors are not allowed to help you either.

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