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24 June 2003

I picked up this story from Body and Soul, about two US Army doctors who were asked to treat three Iraqi children with severe burns and refused to even examine them, saying that their injuries were not life-threatening nor a result of US actions. The story and the commentary around it seems to focus on the lack of compassion of these two doctors as soldiers and as Americans. The thing that gets to me about it, and where I really think action should be taken, is their lack of compassion as doctors. Because in my mind, an Army doctor is a doctor first, a soldier second, a representative of his country third. What about the Hippocratic Oath? Why isn't the AMA looking into revoking their credentials or whatever it is they do for disciplinary measures? What about the fact that these doctors are going to get out of the military one day and be working in the emergency room of some American hospital, where they will gleefully neglect unto the death anyone whose insurance isn't up to scratch?

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