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About Michel Thieren

Michel Thieren is a Belgian physician specializing in humanitarian affairs and human rights and was head of office in northern Bosnia for the World Health Organization.

Articles by Michel Thieren

This week’s front page editor


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Libyan justice: medicine on death row

The confirmation of Libya's decision to convict five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor of infecting child patients in Benghazi with the HIV virus is judicial scandal and global medical disaster, says Michel Thieren. It also offers crucial insight into the nature of the Libyan regime.

(This article was first published on 19 December 2006)

Cambodia: a patient waiting

The response in Cambodia to the emergence of the H1N1 virus is a singular example of how a predominantly rural country is preparting for the threat of an epidemic without borders, say Michel Thieren & David Hayes.

Deaths in Iraq: the numbers game, revisited

The question of how many Iraqis have died since 2003 has been reopened. In answering it, it is vital to clarify the criteria in making a scientific assessment, says Michel Thieren.

Deaths in Iraq: how many, and why it matters

How many civilians have died in Iraq? Iraq Body Count and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health give widely different answers. Michel Thieren examines what is at stake in their contrasting approaches and estimates.

(This article was first published on 18 October 2006)

"Terror doctors": anatomy of a void concept

How can saviours of life become takers? In the wake of the al-Qaida terror plot involving British-based health professionals, Michel Thieren explores the history and idea of the "evil doctor".

Medicine and public health in dark times

The ethical practice of medical and public-health professionals is increasingly tested by situations of war and conflict. The result - from Rwanda to Abu Ghraib to Libya - can be the violation of medical neutrality. Michel Thieren considers what can be done to uphold professional and humane standards in "dark times".

Dayton plus ten: Europe interrogated

The Dayton accords that ended the war in Bosnia in 1995 froze in place an unjust war settlement. Today, their renegotiation is a test of Europe’s moral identity, say Louise L Lambrichs & Michel Thieren.

Kashmir: brothers in aid

The Kashmir earthquake is still claiming its victims, but Michel Thieren sees humanitarian and political lessons from hurricane Katrina being applied in its painful aftermath.

Katrina's triple failure: technical, ethical, political

The experience of disaster management around the world has three lessons for the United States, says Michel Thieren.

There was genocide in Srebrenica

Michael Thieren expected a health emergency and found himself in a genocide zone. A decade on, the memory and the anger burn.
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