Is There a Threat Towards Medical Institutions and What to DoMike Bemelman
letter_to_editor, no. 5, 2017
Article DOI: 10.21614/chirurgia.112.5.627
Unfortunately the reality of today is that a terrorist threat in Europe has become evident. With increasing frequency we are confronted with attacks all across Europe, at least this is the perception. So is there a Threat? If look at the paper of Wolf et al (1), this describes an increase of terrorist attacks from 1999- 2006, the amount of victims due to these attacks increased exponentially. This means the attacks are getting more effective. The perpetrators are getting better and are learning how to injure or kill more victims. The techniques are getting more sophisticated. For example if we look at the Bali Bombing in 2002, here a second hit technique is used. The terrorist placed first a small bomb in a tourist area, knowing that this eventually will attract many people who rush in to help the victims. Then a second hit was done with a much larger bomb killing and wounding even a larger group of people. This is the goal of the terrorist, introducing terror, shocking the world, introduce fear. If we look at the attack in Nice, South France. They used a truck driving through a large tourist crowd, knowing that there would be many children and young people. This is their ultimate goal, shock the world. With that mindset, just imagine how shocking would it be to primary attack a medical institution. Our weakness as medical people is that we want to help people, In fact we gave a Hippocratic oath that we will always help other people, that is our job. We find it hard to believe that medical relief institutions will be attacked. If we look at the London bombing in 2005, one of the terrorists detonated the bomb in a bus. By coincidence this happened right in front of the British Medical Association with many doctors in the building at that time. All of them immediately went to the exploded bus to provide medical relieve, did they even think for a second that there maybe would be a second hit? We are to nice, and the terrorists know this. Historyhas proven to us that medical institutions are a potential goal. 2008 a terror attack in Mumbai, eight series of attacks were done between 26-29th of November. Eventually the terrorist where heading for the CAMA hospital. However because the hospital was alerted and were able to perform a complete lock down they were able to prevent additional casualties in the hospital itself. Are these rare incidents?