WASHINGTON, DC – Representative Jim McDermott (D-WA) has introduced the bipartisan bill, Medical Neutrality Protection Act of 2013 (H.R. 2033), which would block military aid to countries that persecute physicians and medical professionals for treating minorities or dissidents. It is an updated version of H.R. 2643, introduced in the 112th Congress.

“This bill elevates the protection of medical professionals as a foreign policy priority for the U.S. Government,” said McDermott.  “Doctors must be allowed to honor their consciences and uphold their ethical duty to serve the wounded, irrespective of their religious affiliations or ethnicity.  Countries that persecute medical professionals do not deserve military aid funded by American taxpayers.  I urge my colleagues to support this timely bill.”  

Since the bill was first introduced in July 2011, it has received wide support from international human rights organizations, medical organizations, and medical professionals around the world.