The American Academy of Emergency Medicine strives daily to live our mission statement. Multiple parts of this statement refer to our strong and unwavering belief that all people must be treated equally with respect and without discrimination in any form.
Current geopolitical events, most recently in the Middle East, but also in many other parts of the world, should serve to unite the medical community to serve all injured people, every single person, no matter what. That is our ethical obligation as physicians. This service does not start or end at the bedside but includes fostering an environment where everyone feels that their doctor, that any doctor, will treat them ethically.
However, I and the entire board of directors are saddened that instead of uniting physicians across the globe, recent events have exposed biased opinions and resulted in hurtful speech by some in the medical community. Some of these comments have been made by AAEM at large members, some with past leadership positions in our organization, speaking on their own. These individual’s comments do not represent the views of our Academy.
AAEM respects the Constitution of the United States and the First Amendment protections on speech, no matter how inappropriate some speech may be. However, AAEM does not condone or support hurtful speech.
Specifically, AAEM strongly opposes both Islamophobia and Antisemitism. Physicians who hold these views have failed in their ethical obligation to all patients and have no place in AAEM leadership and will not be considered for any future leadership position in our Academy.
The current AAEM Board of Directors unanimously reaffirms our commitment to our Mission and ethical values. Additionally, we condemn discrimination in all forms.
In closing, horrible things have recently happened in this world. People are suffering. If a human being, of any religious or ethnic background, is suffering for any reason whatsoever and they cannot trust and feel comforted by their Emergency Medicine Physician, then we all have failed. Let’s not fail.