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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Michigan Research: Has Syria Painted a Target on Medical Teams around the World?

Even in war, hospitals have a kind of invisible bubble around them, making them neutral territory and off limits for aggression for the sake of medical teams and their patients.

But in Syria, that bubble has burst dozens of times, according to a new report from the group Physicians for Human Rights. The hospitals in just the eastern half of Aleppo city have suffered 45 attacks in three years, and two-thirds have closed.

[Photo: Dr. Michele Heisler interviews a Syrian physician in Turkey]

And that may put medical facilities and workers in other conflict zones in danger too, according to a new opinion piece in the New England Journal of Medicine by the report’s authors, including a University of Michigan School of Public Health and Medical School professor.

They call on the international community to react to these violations of international humanitarian law, and of the principle of medical neutrality.