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Views & Reviews Personal View

The killing of doctors in Iraq must stop

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 13 July 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4467

Rapid Response:

Peace Missions in Iraq are there to help, but Iraqis must also help themselves a little bit...

Dear Editor,

During my work at 424 NATO General Military Hospital in Thessaloniki,
Greece, as a SpR, I had the privilege to perform surgical examinations and
operations on hundreds of officers and soldiers, primarily of the Greek
Army, who were coming from, or were about to go to, Peace Missions abroad.

I can assure you that nobody felt like an "invader" who was about to
engage in a process of "ethnic cleansing of true Iraqis" or Bosnians, or
Albanians, or Afghanis, as Dr Waseem Jeries insinuates.

They were young men, who went out there, leaving their families
behind, risking their lives, in order to protect these populations, help
them build schools, libraries, factories, hospitals, organize their public
services, maximize their production efficiency, etc

Part of their mission was to prevent them from killing each other!

It seems they did not abandon this practice...

Blaming the Peace Forces for these assassinations or the frequent car
bombings against civilians is insulting.

We are there to help, but they must also help themselves a little

Competing interests: Mr Stavros Saripanidis has served as a Military Doctor in the Greek Army, ranked second, after exams, at NATO forces medical doctor admissibility test, and has worked, as a civilian medical doctor, at 424 NATO General Military Hospital in Thessaloniki, Greece.

28 July 2011
Stavros Saripanidis
Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Greece
Private Sector, 55131