Joint statement on Gaza-Israel conflict


Associations of European doctors (UEMS, AEMH, CEOM and UEMO) express grief and sadness over loss of life and suffering during Gaza-Israel conflict. We stand in solidarity with victims and with medical staff providing life-saving help and medical care in Gaza under extreme duress, risking their lives to protect the patients.

Wars and humanitarian crises bring the basic principles of medical service to the attention of medical staff and also of each and every human being. Health and well-being of our patient are our first consideration. We maintain utmost respect for human life and do not permit considerations of age, disease or disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, social standing or any other factor to intervene between our duty and our patients.*
These principles have to be observed by doctors and other healthcare professionals on whatever side of the conflict they happen to work. Moreover, each side of the conflict has a moral and legal duty enshrined in international law to ensure to the greatest extent possible, that patients and victims obtain medical care based on these principles.

Using patients, medical staff and medical facilities as a shield for combat operations or targeting them violate laws and ethics, and should be documented, investigated and judged.
We call for the establishment of protected areas where patients and victims could obtain medical care, medical staff could provide this care in line with basic ethical principles of our profession and international help could be provided to save lives and alleviate suffering.

Each military conflict brings immeasurable suffering and health problems to a far greater number of human beings than those directly involved in military operations. These problems will continue long after the conflict subsides.
We call for peace, for conditions in which medical professions can effectively and in line with the principles of the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Geneva1 provide help that is so desperately needed.

*WMA’s Declaration of Geneva: