Should doctors working in detention centers boycott immigration Australia? ;
in The BMJ this week, two experts debate whether doctors should boycott work in immigration detention centers in Australia .
Dr. David Berger at the Hospital of Broome, in Western Australia, however, argues that his compassionate intentions, “physicians who treat people who have been tortured and then accept the continuity of the torture themselves are supporting torture. ”
On the other hand, Professor Steven Miles, Chair of Bioethics at the University of Minnesota, says these atrocious circumstances “do not justify the boycott further isolate inmates proper care.”
Since the Border Act 2015, health professionals have risked prison for speaking out about the deplorable conditions in centers that have been compared to the gulags and concentration camps, explains Berger.
Last month, the president of the Australian Medical Association (AMA) finally denounced Australia appalling treatment of asylum seekers, which he called “child abuse sanctioned by the state.”
He did not ask a medical boycott of these facilities because, he said, is less bad to be within the system to witness and provide medical care, and public opinion would not support a boycott.
But Berger says that “doctors can not work ethically within the current system,” and says that health leaders “should take a firm position and send a clear message to the Australian government that doctors do not support a system this type.”
It is noted that the detainees have committed no crime, and says. “It is long past of Australia for the treatment of people seeking protection in a manner consistent with its status as a modern and democratic nation”
“If it will not then doctors should refuse to continue colluding, but they should make every effort to provide healthcare ethics of these vulnerable people.”
But Steven Miles argues that Australian doctors “should not boycott the positions of clinical care in immigration removal centers offshore of Australia to raise awareness or promote repair of serious violations of human rights.”
Many Australian medical professionals are rightfully embarrassed and angered by the flagrant abuses committed by his government, he writes.
But he believes that the proposed “boycott” is actually a work action – and that instead of retiring from office
“Australian doctors must fulfill the duties of his station.”
He says the AMA should strengthen their commendable reports and codes of ethics with more aggressive action. “It should help doctors first line to transmit reports, images and data via encrypted web channels and anonymous international human rights organizations”
The AMA should also establish a legal defense fund “to defend any doctor that freedom of expression in the service of patients is prosecuted under the Act Orwellian Border Force.”
“If Australian doctors choose to undertake industrial action, this should point to the government instead of the detainees,” he explains, adding that “physicians should not target desperate people marginalized and isolated whose welfare they are advocating “.
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