Medicine in Iraq: “Keep her alive or we’ll kill the entire staff.”

Soon after the threat, the woman died, but the doctors pretended she was still alive. They carted her off to an operating room to bide some time and called the Iraqi police.

When police arrived, the woman’s family figured out she was dead and started shooting randomly in the hospital corridors, Kadhem said. Police and the woman’s family exchanged gunfire as the hospital staff raced for cover.


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  • Samson Isberg

    Killing is quick, lawsuits are forever. That’s the difference between Iraqis and Westerns.
    The bottom line seems to be: What do you do when disease or death strikes? Is it the doctor’s fault, or is it someone else’s, or is it the thousand and one ills that flesh is heir to.
    As far as I can see, the mentality of the Iraqi clan in this story and the average European or US family is the same: Blame the doctor. Only the methods are different.

  • gasman

    Some of the urban clientel at my hospital find it necessary to make sometimes veiled, and sometimes not so veiled threates to the health and wellbeing of myself and the staff.

    Often we just ignore these comments because the demeanor of the person suggest that it is not a serious threat. They are just so inarticulate and come from such a different social strata that they do not know how to communicate their worries in any other manner other than through what is daily street lingo.

    Sometimes a teen patient with a mysterious gunshot wound is in jeopardy, along with any staff who might be in the way. I hate it when a pediatric hospital has to throw up the defensive screen to keep the street punks from roaming the halls in search of the prey that got away. How would you like to be the parent of the infant of child sharing a room with one of these street club members.

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