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Nurses escape death penalty

Makes being a nurse in the US seem like a cake walk, right?

“The son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadaffi said five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor condemned to death by a Libyan court had received unjust verdicts and that they would not be executed, a Bulgarian newspaper reported on Monday.

A Libyan court last month convicted the five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor of intentionally infecting more than 400 Libyan children with HIV, despite scientific evidence that the youngsters had the virus before the medical workers arrived in Libya. It sentenced all the medical personnel to death.

‘The original files were manipulated and there were many mistakes, but it was the fault of the police officers and investigators who handled the case at the initial stage.’”

As I was thinking about how these relief workers were “ambushed” I imagined that the parents of the HIV positive children were looking for a scapegoat – there is a lot of stigma associated with HIV, and in a country where mere finger pointing can result in the death penalty… taking care of those infected with the virus can be more deadly than the virus itself.

The article also hinted that if it weren’t for the Bulgarian embassy publicizing the unjust executions, they would have occurred without a second thought.

Let’s hear it for the healthcare workers out there who put their lives in harms way to treat the innocent and helpless.  Do you know of other examples?

This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at

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