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AMA Condemns Killing of Medical Professionals in Afghanistan, Calls for Medical Neutrality

For immediate release:
Aug. 13, 2010

Statement attributable to:
Cecil B. Wilson, MD
President, American Medical Association

“The American Medical Association (AMA) condemns the killing of a team of medical professionals in Badakhshan province, Afghanistan. It is a tragedy that they were killed while trying to provide care to people in desperate need of help. Physicians and other medical professionals must be granted access to patients, medical facilities and equipment and the protection needed to carry out their professional activities freely.

“The AMA supports the World Medical Association’s longstanding policy and recent news statement that medical neutrality must be upheld during times of conflict. Physicians are bound by a code of ethics to provide access to care for all people, and there is an obligation on all parties in conflict situations to abide by the rules of international medical ethics as well as the provisions of international humanitarian law as expressed in the Geneva Conventions.

“During this heartbreaking time for the medical profession, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the slain medical professionals who selflessly served to provide care for patients in need. We must work together to avoid another devastating event like the Afghan killings.”

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For more information, please contact:

Leah Dudowicz
AMA Media Relations
(312) 464-4813

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