Tag: human rights

Meghal Shah Meghal Shah (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Warren Alpert Medical School

Meghal Shah is a third year medical student at the Warren Alpert Medical School in Providence, RI. She is interested in global health and human rights, and enjoys reading when she has the time.

The 17: What Happens When Abortion is Criminalized Without Exception?

In El Salvador, 17 women imprisoned after experiencing miscarriages or stillbirths began a campaign against reproductive injustice. “The 17” were sentenced for up to 40 years in prison for miscarriages or complications during delivery, after being convicted of attempted or aggravated homicide. This was the outcome of a total ban on abortion: young, often unmarried, women of lower socioeconomic status are suspected of inducing illegal abortion when experiencing emergent obstetric complications. Stigma and misogyny play into the result, in which a woman’s health during pregnancy is viewed with distrust.

Physician Involvement in CIA Torture

Guantanamo Bay. Abu Ghraib. Americans have long been aware that our government participates in torture. What Americans may not be so readily aware of, however, is physician involvement in torture, an issue that came to light in the CIA report released by the Senate Intelligence Committee on December 9, 2014. The report made headlines worldwide, prompting world leaders to denounce the CIA’s actions and triggering organizations such as the ACLU to call for a full investigation of violations of human rights.

Limitless: The Physician as Human

My entire life’s work has culminated in medical school. Every volunteer organization, every organic molecule I drew, every sacrifice I made in the name of studying has led to being here in Washington, D.C. Why? To join the ranks of the people I held with the highest esteem: doctors. Doctors were the embodiment of justice, beneficence and non-maleficence in my mind: flawless humans. Something I overlooked in that belief was that doctors are, in fact, …

Hemorrhaging People

We discover, learn about and follow important world events through the endeavors of journalists and reporters working within media outlets which, taken wholly, has the purpose of disseminating information, presenting opposing analyses, and constructing discernible truths from a finite data pool. This purpose notwithstanding, as commercial entities, news organizations are still influenced by the need to continually associate with “fresh” topics lest they lose eyes and ears to the competition. Of course, what is and …

Preserving Human Rights as a Medical Student

Medicine is the career path I have chosen to pursue, and I feel grateful to live in a city I adore while I work in a field I love. I have long taken for granted that I can make choices about where I want my life to go because of the freedoms I have in this country, because of my family and friends’ support, and because of the resources that are available to me. Ultimately, …


How can doctors-in-training honor their cultural heritage in their practice of medicine? Angie, a second-year medical student in Texas, describes how her Syrian heritage and deep concern about health care in Syria today drives her motivation to become a physician.

Impartial Witnesses

An open letter appeared in the world’s most prominent medical journal a few weeks ago with the title “Let us treat patients in Syria.” Carrying the signatures of 55 esteemed physicians from around the world, including three Nobel laureates, the letter served as a condemnation of the collapsing medical infrastructure in the region due, in part, to the “deliberate targeting of medical facilities and personnel.” Saleyha Ahsan, an emergency medicine physician and signatory, subsequently published an op-ed in …