Intended for healthcare professionals


Fall of a dictator, failure of ethics

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 09 January 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:115
  1. Samer Jabbour, assistant professor (
  1. Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon

    The capture of Saddam Hussein brought us both relief and hope that things would improve for Iraqis. However, the initial televised pictures after his capture were disturbing as they depicted violations of international law and medical ethics. That today we rarely hear voices of protest against such violations raises questions about our moral compass in these times of continued conflict.

    Embedded Image

    How the mighty have fallen… but even a dictator has rights that Saddam was denied

    Credit: APTN/AP PHOTO

    During the weeks of major military operations, the televised display of three captive American soldiers by Saddam's propaganda machine quite rightly drew protests as a violation of the Geneva Convention. The soldiers, stripped of their freedom and scared almost to death by a ruthless regime, were not in a position to consent to be …

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