It is with a heavy heart that we read about the affair in the United Kingdom. As we consider these events, we hope to remind ourselves and our peers in the health and the Muslim communities of several things:
We have faith in the British system of justice and hope and expect that all suspects will have a fair trial, without prejudice. These acts in the UK, if found to be truly done by health professionals, are inconsistent with all we believe in as Americans, as Health Professionals, and as Muslims. We call on all people of conscience, whether they be health professionals, Muslims, Americans, or British to consider seriously the damage their actions might cause to innocent people, the societies who would suffer from their actions, and the peoples and groups whom they will be labeled to represent when caught and identified.
If found to be guilty, these men will not be the first doctors to plan or perform heinous acts. If British justice system finds them guilty of these crimes, we put them in a pantheon of heinous physicians performing acts that go against the grain of all we believe in as Muslim Health Professionals. Josef Mengele, Mike Swango, Harold Shipman, and in the UK, John B Adams are small list of psychopaths with medical degrees who have harmed countless numbers of people in defiance of their professional oaths. We make no difference between health professionals who use their skills contrary to the human rights of any individual. Whether it is serial murder or genocide, medical torture for the military, or unethical research for profit, these people are not from us and we are not from them.
We especially call on all health professionals, from all ethnic and minority communities, to look for signs of social isolation within their community, and to openly discuss the issues of terrorism, vigilantism, and violence that have become a cancer in our midst.
Indeed, we remind all health practitioners of their obligations under the Geneva Convention, which ask that we state that â€œ[I, the medical practitioner] will maintain the utmost respect for human life from its beginning even under threat and I will not use my medical knowledge contrary to the laws of humanity.â€
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The Association for Muslim Health Professionals, founded in 2004, seeks to become a leader in improving public health, through methods inspired by Islamic Tradition.