British Medical Journal’s Faulty PrescriptionApril 11, 2006 6:00 by Simon Plosker
The British Medical Journal has previously published politicised reports on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that should have no place in a medical publication. The BMJ’s latest edition includes a study “Effects of armed conflict on access to emergency health care in Palestinian West Bank: systematic collection of data in emergency departments”, the objective of which is “To assess the impact of restrictions in access to hospital services imposed on the civilian population during the armed conflict in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel.”
The report quotes a variety of statistics, drawing the conclusion that “patients delayed by the Israeli occupation were more likely to be admitted to hospital than were other patients.” While there is no reason to argue with statistical data collected by a team of Danish researchers, the analysis presents a very one-sided context. Working on the premise that “The occupation of Palestine includes movement restrictions that may influence access to health care”, the report refers to Israeli checkpoints and other “physical barriers” while claiming that “The reported delay in access to healthcare facilities is not in accordance with” the principles of the 1949 Geneva Convention.
The BMJ’s report leads the uninformed reader to believe that Israeli actions are solely responsible for the difficulties experienced by Palestinian medical facilities. It also fails to add the relevant context behind the need for restriction of Palestinian movement as a result of terrorist threats against Israeli civilians. Indeed, the report does not acknowledge the by Palestinians for terrorist activities, including the transportation of weapons and terrorists. It is impossible to properly understand the situation that exists in the West Bank and the need for Israeli counter-terror measures without acknowledging this reality.
The BMJ needs to carefully consider the merits of publishing studies which lack proper context and thus become part of the anti-Israel politicisation
present within certain medical organisations and related journals.
BBC “FORGETS” QASSAM THREAT
HonestReporting’s international site has recently examined the media’s minimising of the dangers posed by Qassam missiles fired from the Gaza Strip against Israeli targets.
While the Qassams have continued to fly, the IDF has reacted by shelling launching sites in Gaza and targeting those terrorists responsible for firing the missiles.
However, while the BBC has reported on Israeli actions, the terror activities and missile launches have warranted scant attention, something that, according to viewers and listeners who have contacted HonestReporting UK over the past few days, has been repeated across a number of BBC channels.
HonestReporting UK asks that subscribers are alert to the chronological inversion employed by some in the media that would portray Israel as the instigator of military activity against Palestinians despite the continuous barrage of Qassams which has been underreported in recent weeks and months.
Comments to the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/