Friday, April 15, 2011

Another medical conundrum

In Manama, Bahrain, a group of guards is blocking the entrance to the city's main hospital. Inside the facility, there are very few, if any patients, because they have been arrested for participating in protests against the country's current civil conflict. Additionally, doctors, nurses, and EMT's have been arrested for caring for protesters who have been wounded.

It is believed by the Bahranian government that hospitals and clinics are hotbeds of Shiite conspirators, who are making attempts to destabilize the country and bring down the government. However, the problem now is that these hospitals have been blocked off by government officials, leaving the ill nowhere to go for care. The government has turned health care facilities into places of civil unrest and endorsed terrorism. Even ambulances have been followed by governmental agencies and have been blocked from aiding wounded protesters, many of whom were simply left to die in streets after violent outbursts.

The Bahranian government is assaulting the health care system, something that is necessary to promote the well being of a country's constituents. Through the attempt to gain control and power over the country, the government is doing far more harm than good. At what point does a nation state's desire for control become abusive? It seems to me that through the arresting of innocent health workers who simply do their job to protect citizens of the nation, the government is mandating ill care. The UDHR states that all constituents are entitled to security of person in all circumstances. Ill individuals now are limited in where they may go to receive health care because so many clinics have fallen under government scrutiny. What do you all think about this?


  1. This is a frustrating thing to read. In a perfect world, of course, the hospitals are left alone and do their job well to begin with. However, this is obviously a time of stress for this government and it has chosen to do something about it. Sure, fine. What's upsetting is that even if the hospitals were harbors for shiites and even if this could be construed to be a bad thing, in the end, the damage is being done to those with no direct involvement in the conflict: the patients.

  2. I'm with Ryley on this, reading this is so frustrating. I can't see there ever being a logical explanation for blocking the entrance to the city's main hospital. As you said, "the Bahranian government is assaulting the health care system, something that is necessary to promote the well being of a country's constituents." This has to be a human rights violation. There is no way that these actions could be justified by any means.

  3. I was frustrated like Ryley and Liz as I read this post but glad you posted it Stephen! This is a different dilemma concerning the denial to the right to life of the patients only on the basis of their political positions. Such discrimination is against all medical ethics codes. Medical care is not one that can discriminate on the basis of beliefs or any sort of basis actually. If there are injured people then doctors should be treating them. When it comes to government actions, it is a matter of balancing power which has to be internal in the government itself. The only way to improve these conditions of injustice in Manama comes back to intervention that we have discussed earlier this semester. Who, when and how to intervene are all necessary questions to note to help Manama. The abusive government of Manama needs to be scrutinized to create change such conditions- how to do this is the next question.


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