Seminar Series: The Paradoxical Fragility of the Norms of Protection of Health Care in War by Len Rubenstein, JD

Monday, Oct 11, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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More than 150 years ago the first Geneva Convention outlawed attacks on wounded and sick soldiers and their caregivers in armed conflict.  Over time the law extended protections to civilians and required combatants to take affirmative precautions to avoid harm to health workers, hospitals, ambulances, and patients. These laws and their underlying norms are among the most widely accepted elements of international law. Yet the persistence and severity of violence of health care in war not only shows widespread noncompliance but suggests that competing, sometimes unarticulated, norms are employed to rationalize the violence.  

Leonard Rubenstein is a lawyer whose work focuses on health and human rights, especially the protection of health in armed conflict and the roles of health professionals in human rights. A core member of the Berman Institute of Bioethics, he has a joint appointment in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where he is Director of the Program on Human Rights, Health and Conflict at the Center for Public Health and Human Rights. and a core faculty member of the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health. 

Prior to coming to Johns Hopkins, he served as Executive Director and then President of Physicians for Human Rights, as a Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace, and as Executive Director of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.