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On Being a Doctor |

Treating the Enemy

Dean L. Winslow, MD
[+] Article and Author Information

From Stanford University School of Medicine and Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, San Jose, California.


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article represent those of the author alone and are not official statements of the Air National Guard, the U.S. Air Force, or the U.S. Department of Defense.

Requests for Single Reprints: Dean L. Winslow, MD, Division of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, 300 Pasteur Drive, Grant Building, Room S-169, Stanford, CA 94305-5107; e-mail, dwinslow@stanford.edu.


Ann Intern Med. 2007;147(4):278-279. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-147-4-200708210-00013
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The telephone rings at the front desk at our U.S. Air Force EMEDS hospital in Baghdad and is promptly answered by the Master Sergeant enlisted medic. “Sir, they need you over at the morgue—2 casualties—U.S.” It is early spring in Baghdad and a light rain is falling. I grab a radio, pick up the keys to one of our assigned vehicles and drive the 500 meters to the ramshackle building near the flight line. Coalition casualties are brought here in heavy black body bags to be processed; after that, they are transferred to sturdy metal caskets covered by an American flag before being loaded on a C-130 transport plane by an honor guard for the first leg of their final journey home.

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Removing the Blindfold: Ethics and Professionalism
Posted on November 13, 2007
Frederick E. Turton
Chair, ACP Ethics, Professionalism and Human Rights Committee
Conflict of Interest: None Declared

The ACP Ethics, Professionalism and Human Rights Committee would like to commend Dr. Dean Winslow and thank him for sharing his experiences treating Iraqi insurgents in Baghdad (1). Dr. Winslow exemplifies the best traditions of professionalism in his commitment to the patient's welfare and best interests. His actions illustrate the role of physicians in promoting health and human rights as defined in the ACP Ethics Manual (2).

1. Winslow, Dean L. Treating the Enemy. Ann Intern Med 2007; 147: 278-279

2. American College of Physicians. Ethics manual: fifth edition. Ann Intern Med. 2005;142:560-82. Available at http://www.acponline.org/ethics/ethicman5th.htm.

Conflict of Interest:

None declared

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