Letters Ethics of hiring Sherpas on Everest

Is it better to be poor and unemployed or rich and work in a hazardous environment?

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g5788 (Published 23 September 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5788
  1. Ewan B Macdonald, professor1,
  2. Kaveh A Sanati, consultant occupational physician2
  1. 1Healthy Working Lives Group, Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8RZ, UK
  2. 2Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, Carshalton SM5 1AA, UK
  1. ewan.macdonald{at}glasgow.ac.uk

Largent discusses the occupational hazards faced by Sherpas on Everest, and the ethics of hiring people from poor communities to do dangerous work.1

Sherpas are one ethnic group among many who undertake high altitude mountain guiding in Nepal and elsewhere. They usually start their climbing career by working as porters who are lowly paid, are poorly equipped, and carry loads …

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