Model: Case 1 and timing of Medical Peace Work

Week 1 wrap up

Hopefully you have found Dr Samoe’s story engaging and enlightening.

Remember that the reason we have tools like the humanitarian principles, International Humanitarian Law, and Do No Harm framework is to provide safeguards for the population’s health during armed conflict.

But we can’t just stop there - we need to use these tools to take positive actions. Let’s look at the Do No Harm framework as an example. This tool helps health and humanitarian workers to understand the “dividers” and “connectors”, and also how health and humanitarian assistance programs can sometimes shape and modify the conflict in a negative way. The ultimate utility of the tool is to provide us with options to change our approach, and improve our programs, as the circumstances of the conflict change. In other words, “primum non nocere” (first, do no harm).

After completing this week, you should now be able to:

  1. Understand the challenges faced by health workers during violent conflict, especially the need to maintain impartiality.
  2. Describe the tension between medical ethics and security priorities during violent conflict.
  3. Understand and advocate for the upholding of International Humanitarian Law.
  4. Apply the seven steps of the Do No Harm framework to different conflict situations.

Next, we’ll move on to a very different manifestation of violence - at the micro level, instead of the meso and macro level issues that we’ve been discussing this week.

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Medical Peace Work

University of Bergen

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