It’s not like displaying a large red cross protects doctors from attack anymore. Yesterday’s Covid heroes are today vilified by some. Across the globe, health care workers have become routinely targeted. For example in Myanmar, since it is not an official “armed conflict,” the ruling junta targets doctors and medical care givers: because they might be helping a “terrorist,” which could really be anybody. In his new book Perilous Medicine, The Struggle to Protect Health Care from The Violence of War, author Leonard Rubinstein, professor and director of the Program on Human Rights and Health in Conflict, reveals how medical workers got to be specifically targeted. He says criminalization of health care does not work and that public opinion does matter–even to the Taliban. And Americans are hardly powerless; we did stop arming Saudis attacking Yemeni hospitals.

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