We, doctors from Quebec, denounce the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza

We, doctors from Quebec, feel greatly concerned by the catastrophic humanitarian situation which is worsening day by day in Gaza.

158 days of devastation. 31,272 killed and 73,024 injured. 1.5 million refugees. These figures are a minimum estimate and do not take into account the thousands of missing people.

The health network was wiped out and infrastructure destroyed throughout the country. As of March 13, 2024, the United Nations (UN) has recorded 804 attacks against health facilities, of which 666 affected staff and 566 affected patients. At least 364 health care workers have been killed.

Remaining silent in the face of the extent of this suffering seems contrary to our role as doctors and an abdication of our common humanity.

In support of our fellow doctors and health professionals in Gaza who continue to save lives in inhumane conditions and in line with the World Health Organization, Doctors Without Borders, Doctors of the World and the Canadian Pediatric Society, we ask our medical associations to demand a permanent ceasefire, access to drinking water, free passage for the delivery of food and humanitarian aid, and the release of hostages on both sides ‘other.

According to the UN and many other international organizations, international law is completely undermined in Gaza1. The Israeli army repeatedly flouts its duty to protect the civilian population, and children and mothers are the greatest victims. 70% of deaths are women and children and 90% of babies and pregnant or breastfeeding women suffer from food poverty. In November, there was talk of baby corpses being found in the rubble of the pediatric intensive care unit of Al-Nasr Hospital, which had been urgently evacuated following an attack. Today, one in 6 children is malnourished and babies have died of starvation. UNICEF warns that the thousands of babies who will be born in the coming weeks are at risk of dying: around 5,500 pregnant mothers give birth every month in Gaza, but they have no pregnancy monitoring or a safe place to give birth due to the bombings.

Other bits of horror stories reach us through the few sources of information from Gaza. Traumatic amputations in children as young as one year old. Thousands of surgeries without anesthesia. More than a hundred civilians killed while waiting for a food delivery in what many observers called a ‘flour massacre’2. Attacks targeting health establishments and Doctors Without Borders vehicles. Hospitals without electricity filled with sick and dying people due to lack of staff and equipment.

The International Court of Justice, instructed by South Africa, found it “plausible” that certain rights of Palestinians in Gaza were not respected, including that of “being protected against acts of genocide”3. Faced with food insecurity now affecting the entire population in Gaza (2.2 million people), a catastrophic level of famine affecting 200,000 people and supply trucks massing at the border, prevented from entering to supply supplies. the population, it is urgent that the medical profession mobilize and honor the Hippocratic Oath.

We, the signatory doctors, request an immediate position from the College of Physicians of Quebec, the Federation of General Practitioners of Quebec, the Federation of Specialist Physicians of Quebec and the Quebec College of Family Physicians, on the issues following:

  • An immediate, unconditional and permanent ceasefire
  • Immediate access to drinking water
  • Free passage for the delivery of food and humanitarian aid
  • An end to the illegal blockade, which prevents the entry of medical supplies, medicines and healthcare equipment
  • The safe release of all hostages on both sides

Let us have the courage and humanity to defend the lives, health and dignity of the victims of Gaza, before it is too late.

*Consult the list of signatories

1. Consult a press release from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (in English)

2. Consult a press release from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (in English)

3. Consult the article “The judgment of the International Court of Justice on Gaza and Israel analyzed in five questions” from the Duty

What do you think ? Participate in the dialogue

1. https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2024/03/un-experts-urge-international-community-step-pressure-end-crimes-uphold

2. https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2024/03/un-experts-condemn-flour-massacre-urge-israel-end-campaign-starvation-gaza

3. https://www.ledevoir.com/monde/moyen-orient/806072/jugement-cour-internationale-justice-gaza-israel-decortique-5-questions

reference: www.lapresse.ca

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