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Think Pieces

Vol 2 No 2 (2015): September issue

Blurred lines: Warfare and health care

  • Omar Dewachi
April 18, 2015
November 6, 2020


The neutrality of medicine and health care professionals in different conflict settings in the Middle East have come under scrutiny in recent human rights reports, and should be seen as part of the broader fallout of the US-led ‘global war on terror.’ The last two decades of US military attacks on health infrastructures in Iraq and the use of polio-vaccination campaigns to track down ‘terrorists’ are acts of war that have further blurred the lines between health care and warfare. The failure of international legal processes and institutions to prevent such assaults or to prosecute those responsible raises questions about the Eurocentric system of checks and balances that shape international humanitarian law and its invocation as a ‘legal’ and ‘moral’ framework.