ANA Condemns Bahrain Court for Prison Sentences on Nurses

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The American Nurses Association’s (ANA) Communications Department provides the following statement attributable to ANA President Karen A. Daley, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN:

“The American Nurses Association (ANA) strongly condemns the Bahraini judicial system for imposing unjust prison sentences on 20 health care professionals, including nurses, who adhered to their ethical duty by treating wounded political protesters during a period of civil unrest last spring. ANA calls on the Bahrain government to reverse these court decisions, including the shameful 15-year sentence handed down to Roula Jassim Mohammed al-Saffar, a leader of the Bahrain Nursing Society.

Nurses and other health care professionals worldwide must remain free from political persecution to carry out their professional and humane duty to provide care to all people, regardless of ideological concerns.

The Code of Ethics for Nurses states that a fundamental principle underlying all nursing practice is ‘respect for the inherent worth, dignity, and human rights of every individual,’ and that ‘the need for health care is universal, transcending all individual differences.’ The nurses and physicians in Bahrain acted in accordance with their ethics and must not be punished in the name of political oppression.”

The ANA is the United States member of the International Council of Nurses.