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Book review of Perilous Medicine: The Struggle to Protect Health Care from the Violence of War by Leonard Rubenstein

Rubenstein, a lawyer and professor at Johns Hopkins College of Public Well being, begins with a historical past of worldwide efforts to advertise requirements of conduct for the remedy of medical personnel in battle zones. Within the 1860s, Francis Lieber and Henri Dunant represented two contrasting approaches. Lieber argued that docs and nurses ought to be capable to provide remedy to combatants and civilians alike no matter affiliation. However on the identical time, he acknowledged that “army necessity” would often lead commanders to weaken their enemies by denying them entry to docs, and so he allowed troopers to make use of discretion in deciding tips on how to take care of take care of the enemy. Dunant, however, held that army penalties ought to by no means mitigate the “precept of humanity” on which the safety of medical personnel was based mostly. The physician’s responsibility was to take care of the wounded, to ameliorate struggling, and the soldier should stand down within the face of that ethical responsibility. Rubenstein writes in Dunant’s custom however admits that Lieber might have had the deeper legacy. In conflicts all over the world, when a nurse is prevented from treating the wounded or when a hospital is bombed, the phrase “army necessity” is a prepared excuse. As a health-care official in Afghanistan put it, “Anybody in energy doesn’t like that you just serve their enemies.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/when-war-breaks-out-doctors-and-nurses-often-become-casualties/2021/10/28/7bf6d390-0423-11ec-a266-7c7fe02fa374_story.html | Guide overview of Perilous Drugs: The Wrestle to Defend Well being Care from the Violence of Battle by Leonard Rubenstein

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