Intended for healthcare professionals


Effect of sanctions on surgical practice

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 07 December 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1474
  1. Hazim Naif Barnouti, assistant professor of surgerya
  1. a Al-Mustansyriya Medical School, Baghdad, Iraq
  1. Correspondence to: Professor H N Barnouti, PO Box 19172 Zayyona, Baghdad, Iraq.

    The sanctions against Iraq have led health care to fall below minimally acceptable standards. Doctors must treat patients without adequate drugs, anaesthetics, or basic surgical supplies. The continuation of sanctions will lead to a further deterioration. No ethical, religious, or humane body should condone this.

    Sanctions and blockades are time honoured ways to punish people or exert pressure on them to change. The longer and more effective the blockade, the worse its effects on people. Sanctions have had deleterious effects on all aspects of Iraqi life, including medicine. Patients requiring surgery are a particularly vulnerable group, and this article reflects sanctions' effects on surgical practice.

    Effects of sanctions on surgical practice

    The six year blockade of Iraq has left surgery in a state that falls far below minimally acceptable standards of safety and efficacy. Shortages of …

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