Responding to a Bill that has been debated this week in the Israeli Knesset, which seeks to limit access to healthcare to Palestinian security prisoners, Dr Jan Wise, BMA medical ethics committee chair, said:
"Doctors' obligations and professional duties are to provide medical care and treatment to the patient in front of them based on their clinical need. Never should the patient's nationality, race or political affiliation come into their decision over whether to provide care. To suggest otherwise is completely unethical and we share the extreme concerns of the Israel Medical Association about this bill, which seeks to differentiate types of prisoners in their right to medical treatment – inevitably targeting specific ethnic groups.
"This goes against basic medical ethics and human rights, and would place doctors in an impossible position. We stand firmly with our colleagues in Israel in their opposition to this discriminatory and harmful bill."
Notes to editors
The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.