Medical Neutrality in Theory and Practice (Military Medical Ethics)

June 15, 2023 - June 17, 2023
ZH Center for Military Medical Ethics, University of Zürich


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During armed conflicts and other emergencies, medical services shall not be interfered with. This is the main tenet of what has been labelled “medical neutrality”. This principle is grounded in International Humanitarian Law as well as in Human Rights Law and it can be justified by ethical rationales such as the principle of Humanity and ordinary medical ethics. Health workers often understand medical neutrality as an obligation not to engage in anything else other than medical outcomes.

Medical neutrality is often disrespected: Health care providers and health facilities are under attack, laws sanction the provision of health care to so-called insurgents or terrorists, health care is withold or provided according to non-medical criteria, and philosophers have questioned that health care can always be provided without considering the moral status of those to whom it is provided.

Our workshop shall provide an opportunity to discuss medical neutrality and the related concepts like impartiality from a variety of perspectives.

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April 15, 2023, 11:00pm CET

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