Embargoes that endanger health

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.315.7120.1393a (Published 29 November 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:1393

Doctors should oppose them

  1. Tony Delamothe, Deputy editor (tdelamothe@bmj.com)a
  1. a BMJ

    If all else fails you can starve your enemy out. Or let disease, unchecked, take its toll. A personal view (p 1474)1 and a letter (p 1463)2 in this week's journal remind us that the barbarous tactics of earlier wars still have their uses. Both articles deal with the effects on health of rigorously enforced embargoes.

    The personal view from three visitors to Iraq augments the account we published a year ago on the effects of sanctions on surgical practice.3 Barnouti wrote then that they had “led to the disruption and collapse of the basic medical system, revealing the inhuman face of sanctions of such severity and length.” Should they continue “the already awful situation of medical services could become even worse.”

    On the basis of visits to a wide range of Iraqi hospitals and health centres, the authors of this week's personal view found …

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