Doctors as Targets

11/13/2014
Map of Syria

To the Editor: “Doing Good in Harm’s Way” (Giving section, Nov. 7) points out that though medical and relief workers should be protected, in fact they often become targets. I have had the opportunity to meet many doctors working in Syria, who tell me that they are targeted because they are medical professionals.

Doctors, nurses and other health workers are often perceived to be the enemy because they treat people on all sides of the conflict. Since the start of the Syrian war, we have documented the deaths of 578 medical personnel and 207 attacks on medical facilities, with government forces overwhelmingly responsible for these crimes.

Of these, more than 138 medical professionals were executed or died after being detained and tortured.

The full letter to the editor continues at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/14/opinion/doctors-as-targets.html on The New York Times’ website.