Reality Makes Our Decisions: Ethical Challenges in Humanitarian Health in Situations of Extreme Violence

Publication language
Date published
01 Jan 2019
Research, reports and studies
Conflict, violence & peace, Health, Principles & ethics

This project explored the ethical challenges humanitarian health organizations face in situations of extreme violence against civilians, particularly when healthcare facilities and personnel become targets in the conflict. Its objective was to provide processes and mechanisms as well as practical tools to guide humanitarian health organizations through complex ethical challenges facing them in these settings. The project originated as a result of the challenges international and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and front-line health workers face as a result of violence inflicted on hospitals and health workers in Syria. At times, individuals in these settings must forgo compliance with core ethical commitments, choose to comply with one ethical obligation at the expense of another, or to take an action where no obviously right action exists.