World Medical Association joins call for cease fire in Syria

(01.03.2012)  The World Medical Association today added its voice to those urging the Syrian authorities to call an immediate cease fire to allow the sick and the wounded to be properly treated.

In a statement, the WMA President Dr. Jose Gomes do Amaral, reminded the Syrian Government that doctors on the front line should be regarded at all times as neutral and should not be targeted or victimised in any armed conflict.

Dr. Gomes do Amaral said: ‘I would appeal to President Assad, an ophthalmologist, to recognise even now the appalling effects that the violence in his country is having on innocent men, women and children. Physicians, in whatever capacity, must adhere to their ethical duty of first doing no harm.

‘It is with great regret that the WMA condemns President Assad's responsibility for apparent war crimes that have brought his profession into disrepute.
‘He is to be condemned for grave human rights abuses, and for repeatedly allowing attacks on hospitals and other medical facilities, and for the ill treatment suffered by patients. The fact that these actions are being committed by a physician has horrified millions of physicians around the world. He has betrayed the trust and dignity of his profession by his inhumanity.

‘Physicians and medical workers involved in any ill treatment and torture should be exposed and should face appropriate justice and punishment.'