Warning from a Mass Grave: Hospitals Under Attack

10/07/2014
Map of world

Armed attacks on hospitals are occurring more often around the world, resulting in death, injury and destroyed facilities. What can be done to stop this disturbing trend?

Editor's note: This piece is the first of a two-part series. The second part will be posted in early December.

In human tradition, three types of institutions have been considered safe in times of violence and civil strife; that is, it is expected that they will be exempt from armed attack. These institutions are places of worship, schools and hospitals.

Unfortunately, this is more myth than fact. History is rife with examples of churches, synagogues, mosques and other sites of worship being violated, including a 2012 shooting in a Sikh temple in Wisconsin that killed six innocent victims; the killer took his own life. Schools also have been subject to violence all over the world.

But, it has generally been assumed that hospitals are still off-limits in times of conflict because of the healing nature of their work and the vulnerability of their unarmed staff and patients. Until the second half of the 20th century, this was a largely valid belief, although there is evidence of some hospitals having been attacked earlier in wartime.

The full article continues at http://www.hhnmag.com/display/HHN-news-article.dhtml?dcrPath=/templatedata/HF_Common/NewsArticle/data/HHN/Daily/2014/Oct/hospital-attacks-worldwide on the H&HN Daily website.