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Obituaries

Jonathan Fine: founder of Physicians for Human Rights

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k1050 (Published 06 March 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k1050
  1. Joanna Lyall
  1. London, UK
  1. joannalyall50{at}gmail.com
Credit: Ulrike Welsch/the Boston Globe /Getty Images

When Jonathan Fine was 6 years old, his father gave him five dollars and suggested that he send it to help blind children in China. “That was the first time I was aware of anything except three meals a day and summer camp somewhere nice,” he said.

“The knowledge opened up the world to me and influenced all my career choices,” said Fine, who has died at his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, aged 86.

In 1981, when he was a director of a community health centre in Boston, Fine joined a medical delegation to Chile to investigate the case of three doctors who had disappeared during the Pinochet regime. He discovered where the doctors, supporters of Allende, were imprisoned and helped secure their release five weeks later. The delegation’s report, published in the New York Times, described the doctors’ detention as “a serious act of state repression.” “That was pretty heady. It showed me a few people could get a megaphone and make a difference,” he said.

Physicians for Human Rights

In 1986, working with a group of other doctors, he founded and became the …

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